CANTON, Ill. (WMBD/WYZZ) — There may not have been a high school in central Illinois harder hit with COVID than Canton.

The Little Giants had multiple sports seasons put on hold last school year as student-athletes quarantined. A silver lining in the quarantine was expanded playing time for young players on the football squad.

Canton was 1-2 in the spring season but had underclassmen see important minutes on the field. That could pay dividends this fall.

“A lot of those guys filling in for those positions got a ton of varsity experience last year with guys being quarantined for COVID,” said second-year head coach Nick Wright. “We were able to put those guys back in position and there’s not a whole lot of teaching. It’s just getting the reps and getting back into the swing of things.”

Quarterback Nick Oldfield returns and could be the top passer in the Mid-Illini Conference this season.

“We have a lot of guys coming back that know a lot of game stuff,” said senior linebacker Trevor Putnam. “There’s not a lot of learning. We are getting right into it and getting ready to go.”

Canton opens the season at home against Mahomet-Seymour on Aug. 27.