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Football

1937 NFL championship at Wrigley Field
AP file photo

A sports historian said a Normal native's nomination to the Pro Football Hall of Fame nearly a century after he helped break the NFL's color barrier shows the league hasn't fully reckoned with the racism that's plagued it for generations.

high school football
Jeff Smudde

The Illinois High School Association has scrapped a controversial plan to shift its playoff and scheduling format for football starting in 2021.

8-Man Football is gaining a following in Illinois
Illinois High School Association

The Flanagan-Cornell-Woodland football team last year didn't score on its opponents until its 6th game, when it tallied 8 against Minonk. It went scoreless the rest of the year after barely having enough students to finish the season due to injuries and players quitting.

El Paso Gridley vs. Ridgeview
Jeff Smudde / WGLT

Illinois high school football's governing body is overhauling its conferences, in a move that's intended to helps schools play similar-size programs.

Eric Stock / WGLT

As you drive into the small farming community of Lexington you quickly get a sense for the town’s pride in its school and its sports teams. A large sign off the main road trumpets its athletic achievements: 15 state championships in high school and junior high sports.

Joe Walters
Eric Stock / WGLT

The new head football coach at Central Catholic High School is grateful he can now be more open about his faith.

Joe Walters coached football for two seasons at Bloomington High School, after coaching previously at Peoria Notre Dame. Walters told GLT's Sound Ideas he realized after the first season at BHS he had to be careful giving any appearance that he was trying to impose his faith on others, particularly his players.
 

Jason Drengwitz
NCHS Ironmen

Both Unit 5 high schools now have new head football coaches.

Carleigh Gray / WGLT

When Brock Spack signed on as head football coach at Illinois State nine years ago, he said he was in it for the long haul. Does that mean when the day comes to end his career that he will still be the Redbirds’ coach?

Carleigh Gray / WGLT

When Brock Spack was introduced as head football coach at Illinois State in 2009, only two coaches in the previous 100 years of the program had compiled winning records.

Redbird Athletics

Bloomington-Normal bobblehead collectors: You may want to be at Hancock Stadium on Saturday.

Courtesy / Illinois State University

A mountain of research—including a stunning new study on the brains of deceased NFL players—is changing the way that the Illinois State football team is practicing this summer.