WCIA — High school varsity football on a Tuesday night?
Only in 2021.
Central football did just that, driving nearly three hours to Alton Tuesday night losing 41-20. After the Maroons’ game against Urbana was canceled on Friday due to the Tigers not fielding a team this spring, Central was in need of a game. The Redbirds were in need of a game after their Week 3 opponent wasn’t able to play. Alton had to temporarily join the Big 12 Conference to make the game a reality in order to comply with the COVID-19 regulations by the IHSA and Illinois Department of Public Health stating only teams in the same region or conference can play. The Maroons will still play rival Centennial on Saturday, meaning they’ll take the field twice in five days. It’s all in an effort to get six games on the schedule in an already truncated season due to COVID-19.
Postponed, canceled and shifted games are all part of playing through a pandemic. This week alone there are games on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. There was supposed to be an 8-man game on Wednesday but Milford post on Twitter its game against St. Thomas More is canceled.
The Easter holiday weekend was the reason for both the Iroquois West at Paxton-Buckley-Loda game and St. Joseph-Ogden at Charleston to be moved up a day to avoid suiting up on Good Friday.
“It’s been interesting,” Iroquois West head coach Jason Thiele said about shifting schedules. “The days of the week with the games are up in the air all the time. Everything’s changing and we have to constantly change with it.”
“Luckily for us we have a former college coach who is used to that Saturday-Thursday stuff so he gave suggestions about what we needed to do and we actually expanded our time on Saturday morning,” Charleston head coach Jerry Payne said.
“We’re just going to go out there and do what we need to do, play with the same intensity, have our home crowd here, have our blood pumping, it’s going to be the same thing as Friday night,” Charleston senior offensive lineman Drew Matheny said.