What year of fall football would this have been for you, and how are you dealing with not having it?
“As a coach, I guess it would be 29. No, it’s not the same. I guess probably the better person to ask that question, what’s it been like for my wife to have me home on Friday nights and pacing around the house. But I guess a little bit more sleep on Thursday night, a little less jitters on Friday. But obviously a pretty empty void, and something hopefully we can get back — to this good feeling of butterflies.”
How have you been utilizing the time you do have with your
athletes this offseason?
“We’ve tried to maintain our lifting. We’ve kind of got that going back again. We wanted to make sure we could get our kids back in school and stay in school safely before we got too involved in all of that. ... Started our contact days this week. But other than that we had a pretty normal summer — normal as can be. Just trying to keep the kids in a mode and a mindset that hopefully we get this opportunity, and when we do we’ll be ready to go.”
What are your thoughts on the states surrounding Illinois — like Indiana, Iowa, Michigan and parts of Missouri — playing football while your guys cannot?
“I just wish there seemed to be a little more rhyme or reason to some of the decisions that are made. I know that it’s frustrating to see everybody around us playing. It’s frustrating to see Michigan kind of change the table and start playing (after initially delaying its season). Walking out here on a Friday morning and it’s 70 degrees outside and a beautiful day (is tough). Would’ve been our home opener tonight (against Prairie Central). ... Prairie Central was probably the favorites by most coaches to win the conference. I think it would’ve been a great test for us.”
What are your thoughts on having a spring football season in 2021?
“Well you keep referring to it as spring football. Feb. 15 still has winter on my calendar. But, as I’ve told people, I’ll have my playoff gear ready for preseason gear and welcome anything anytime that we have an opportunity to let our kid participate. We look forward to that. It’ll be different, but it’ll sure be a good different.”
Last season was the first for Hicks Field with a turf playing surface. How have the kids adjusted to it?
“Our kids have taken well to it. I know that probably more than anything I notice a big difference practice-wise, always having a great practice facility. ... At our (Illini Prairie Conference) AD meeting this year, we even talked about ... moving some lower-level games here to kind of protect some people’s fields. Because hopefully it’ll be a quick turnaround from May to August with us getting going again. If we can host some things here and not have to worry about that, it’ll sure be nice.”
Have you put any thought to that potential quick turnaround —
ending the spring season in May and starting a fall season in August?
“A little bit, but I can’t begin to even remotely think of what the leaders of our state are thinking — whether it’s the IHSA or ISBE or IDPH. It changes so often, and we’re not privy to any of that information. We’re just victims of the decisions, trying to make the best of it for our kids and our community. And that’s what our leadership as coaches is, and hopefully we’re providing that for our kids.”