PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD/WYZZ) — No blistering first day of practice for high school football teams this year.
The delayed football season began with practice around the state on Wednesday. Players were greeted with mild conditions and 60-degree temps.
More importantly, they were on the field again.
“It just feels great to be in our normal routine that we’ve been in for the past few years,” said Morton senior Alex Chaikin. “To have the opportunity to be able to do what we used to do is very nice.”
The 2020 fall season was postponed until spring 2021 during the pandemic. But there were no guarantees the season would even start as Illinois wrestled with COVID-19 restrictions during the school year.
But in January football was given the green light to start. The Illinois High School Association mapped out a schedule that includes a six games for prep football teams.
“It feels amazing. It’s good to be back,” said Peoria High junior Eddie Clark. “We’ve been away for too long.”
Games can begin March 19 and players can hardly wait.
“It’s pretty exciting to know we finally have a season after being up in the air and not knowing if we’d get it,” said Washington senior Jonny Kopinski. “I’m excited to be out here, back with the team. with my brothers and being able to play with them.”