Prep Football Coaches Taking Summer Practices Slowly This Year

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PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD/WYZZ) — High school football teams are easing into summer workouts.

Some only did weight room work in June and are finally starting to take the field in July.

Depending on whom you ask, schools are ahead of schedule because the last football season ended just two months. Or they’re still recovering from that crazy spring schedule of sports.

“We are ahead of where we usually are,” said Dunlap coach Brett Cazalet. “We’re able to work on some things we typically don’t get to work on. It’s a positive.”

The Illinois high school football season was six weeks long in March and April. The season did not include playoffs.

The 2021 fall season is expected to return to its normal schedule with the season starting in August and running through the week of Thanksgiving with state title games.

“I think we’re a little further behind (than normal),” said Peoria High football coach Tim Thornton. “Usually we get board work done in the offseason, film work, stuff like that. This year we couldn’t do that because we were just working with that last group (of seniors).”

One of the biggest areas of concern this summer surrounds young players. With Junior Football Leagues canceled last year, incoming freshmen missed a season of football.

And high school underclassmen didn’t get a full season of development with the shortened spring season.

“I feel like some of our younger kids, freshman and sophomores, took the brunt of it,” said Bloomington coach Scott Godfrey. “Their high school experience wasn’t what they thought it would be. They don’t have normalcy to what the high school day looks like yet.”

Coaches probably won’t get a real feel for their freshman numbers for another coupe of weeks.

“The big question will be the incoming freshmen level,” Cazalet said. “They didn’t play football last year. We have to see what kind of impact that has on the incoming freshmen class.”

It’s a busy July for football coaches as they get ready for the season ahead. While perhaps making up for whatever was lost last season.

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