CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) — In one sense, there’s still a long way to go. Then again, Aug. 10 isn’t that far away. Just 53 days separate today from what’s supposed to be the first official practice for high school football and other prep sports in Illinois. Will that happen? IHSA executive director Craig Anderson says he’s hopeful.

“I like the movement that number one, today, we have students out with activity, their with coaches, with teammates, yet in small groups doing some conditioning and agility. I like the fact that we’re trending towards being in Phase 4 at some point late June, early July, and for us, we’re hopeful that gets our students back to what we know as summer contact days with skill instruction. Camps will be able to go on with some limited competitions. Small groups, no more than 50 of course meeting the guidelines. It helps me think that we’re trending towards, again with a month and a half left to start practice in early August, that we’re trending towards having fall sports.”

The IHSA revealed a draft of its Phase 4 ‘Return to Play’ guidelines, allowing more activity, the use of footballs and other sporting equipment and even some limited competition.