PEORIA, Ill (WMBD/WYZZ) — Many high school football players returned to practice Friday for the first time since the Illinois High School Association announced their season was still alive.
It’s just that the season is being moved from fall to spring.
Ryne Begole/Metamora senior: “I just think it’s an extended summer that we have to keep working through and do our best to prepare for that season,” said Metamora senior Ryne Begole. “it’s a weight off our shoulders, though.”
The IHSA hasn’t announced the length of the season or a playoff plan. All of the IHSA sports seasons this school year are being shortened, however.
The likely scenario has teams playing a six or seven game regular season and having a playoff that might resemble a four-team regional format. Practice will start in mid-February with games kicking off in March.
“Whenever we can have the season, or how many games we can play during the season, at least we can get out there and play,” said Normal Community senior Alex Reyna. “I know they are talking about the playoffs being short and the season being short. But at least we get to play a few games.”
Players have had restriction-filled practices this summer that have included masks, social distancing and limits on the number of players working out together. It might be preparing them of a high school football season unlike any other in state history.
“I just want to play no matter what,” said Morton senior Alex Chiakin. “If that means we have to play in a mask when we are on the field, or I have to douse myself in hand sanitizer before and after the game, I just want to play.”