Even though you aren’t having your Week 8 game with Macomb, you’re still making use of this Friday evening at Frank Dutton Field.
“We’re going to have a little bit of fun. First off, we’ve got a great grounds crew that does a fantastic job of mowing it and keeping it looking this pristine, and the lines are popping tonight. Because, like you said, we’re going to have a little meet the Bulldogs scrimmage tonight, about 6 o’clock. Each kid gets two tickets for their family members to come be in attendance, but then our Bulldog TV is going to go ahead and broadcast it online, so that way everybody gets the opportunity to kind of see the kids in action tonight, so to speak. ... I’m so happy for our kids. I’m happy for these kids’ parents and certainly these community members to be able to get that Friday night fall under-the-lights experience. It’s certainly going to be a great time for everybody involved.”
Do you feel kids around Illinois could be playing football this fall?
“I think if you turn on the TV or you kind of look around the country you see high schools playing on Friday nights, and then college playing on Saturdays, and then the NFL games are on Sundays. So I think the answer to could we be playing is definitely yes, but unfortunately, and I tell my kids this all the time, you’ve got to control what you can control. And right now, we can’t control that we don’t get to play games on Friday nights.”
What’s the biggest thing you learned in your first year as this team’s coach?
“(The Apollo Conference is) a great conference and they play football, and you’ve got to come to work every single Friday night. There’s nothing taken for granted — doesn’t matter who you’re playing. And it’s that competitive of a conference. A lot of good teams, a lot of good coaches and certainly a lot of good players.”
What’s your biggest concern about playing football in the spring?
“We’ve been talking to the kids religiously about staying involved, staying active, staying in shape. And then certainly when these November, December, January months come up before hopefully we get to play in February, it’s vital that our kids are remaining in the weight room and, again, staying active and being ready for when that February comes.”
How much did the 2019 team winning its last three games help the 2021 team?
“It was a tremendous end to the season. Anytime you can finish the season on a three-game winning streak ... not only does it kind of make up for that season alone and kind of leave you on a high note and send the seniors off the right way, so to speak, but certainly it builds some momentum going into our offseason and now even into this season, in year number two.”