WASHINGTON, Ill. (WMBD/WYZZ) — Many high school football teams began their limited fall practice schedules in Illinois thi sweek.
Many teams went without helmets or pads for their first “fall contact” with their coaches because they can’t have physical contact between players. And most of them included players wearing masks and being split into small groups to adhere to state health regulations.
“It’s definitely weird getting used to playing with a mask. But after a while, you just don’t feel it anymore. It’s just kinda there,” said Washington senior Jonny Kopisnki. “Probably the worst part in all of this is not being to wear pads. That’s the worse part, not being able to hit.”
The Illinois High School Association moved football from the fall to the spring during the pandemic because football is considered an “at risk” sport. Teams can’t scrimmage during this fall practice period.
“The guys I just ran through running back drills are all huffing and puffing,” Washington head coach Darrell Crouch said. “It’s tough enough on a regular day going through that. But when you put your mask on it makes it really hard.”
Teams are allowed 20 days of practice during this fall contact period which runs from Sept. 7-Oct. 30.