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CHAMPAIGN — The Champaign Central boys’ basketball team has pulled out of a season-opening tournament because of COVID-19 issues.

“We are sorry to announce our varsity boys’ basketball team will be unable to play in the Decatur Thanksgiving Tournament this year because of COVID,” reads a message sent Thursday evening from the Maroons athletics Twitter account.

A message sent Wednesday from the Decatur MacArthur athletics Twitter handle indicated the “Decatur Turkey Tournament is looking for 1 boys varsity team to fill our their tournament.”

The Maroons are being led by first-year coach LeConte Nix, a Central alumnus who took over the program on an interim basis earlier this year. They join Villa Grove girls’ basketball in experiencing early COVID issues.

Blue Devils coach Jeff Carleton confirmed to The News-Gazette earlier this week that his team would be sidelined until at least this coming Wednesday because of COVID issues. Villa Grove opened its season with a loss to Iroquois West last Monday but had to pull out of its final three games in the Falcon/Bunnie Tip-Off tournament.

Colin Likas is the preps coordinator at The News-Gazette. He can be reached at, or on Twitter at @clikasNG.

College/Prep Sports Reporter

Colin Likas covers Illinois football and high school sports at The News-Gazette. His email is, and you can follow him on Twitter (@clikasNG).

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