Big Northern Conference releases 2021 spring football schedule

Published: Aug. 18, 2020 at 11:13 AM CDT
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(WIFR) - When the Illinois High School Association announced its Return to Play plan late last month, it moved football, boys soccer, and girls volleyball to the spring. Many wondered what a spring football season would look like; many were left with more questions than answers. The Big Northern Conference became one of the first conferences in the state to release a 2021 spring football schedule on Tuesday.

A state series is still to be determined, however, the IHSA told its member schools to anticipate a seven-game regular season, followed by a regional postseason at minimum. The BNC created a seven-game regular season, with each team effectively having two bye games. But the conference took it a step further and created an alternative schedule just in case the IHSA decided not to have a playoff system and allowed a nine-game regular season instead. Winnebago Athletic Director WIll Hartje confirmed a report that the conference AD’s met over a Zoom meeting and schedules were put together by a blind draw.

“(The) IHSA hasn’t given us any guidance on the football season yet,” said Hartje in a text message. “But we wanted to get something put together.”

While spectators and group gatherings will be subject to the Illinois Department of Public Health guidelines when the season begins, we know the BNC will not play games on Friday nights. The new schedule will have all varsity and freshmen games played on Saturday afternoons, with varsity games starting at 2:00 and freshmen to follow. Sophomore games will be played on Mondays at 5:00.

Whether or not there is a high school football season later in the school year will all depend on how well the state is handling the coronavirus pandemic at that time.

Here is a look at the schedule for the upcoming spring football season in the BNC:

Week 1 (Saturday, March 6 - All varsity games at 2:00 p.m.)

Stillman Valley at Dixon

Genoa-Kingston at Oregon

North Boone at Byron

Mendota at Winnebago

Lutheran at Rock Falls

Week 2 (Saturday, March 13)

Stillman Valley at Genoa-Kingston

Oregon at Byron

Winnebago at North Boone

Lutheran at Mendota

Dixon at Rock Falls

Week 3 (Saturday, March 20)

Byron at Stillman Valley

Oregon at Winnebago

North Boone at Lutheran

Rock Falls at Mendota

Dixon at Genoa-Kingston

Week 4 (Saturday, March 27)

Stillman Valley at Winnebago

Lutheran at Oregon

Mendota at North Boone

Byron at Dixon

Genoa-Kingston at Rock Falls

Week 5 (Saturday, April 3)

Lutheran at Stillman Valley

Oregon at Mendota

Rock Falls at North Boone

Dixon at Winnebago

Genoa-Kingston at Byron

Week 6 (Saturday, April 10)

Mendota at Stillman Valley

North Boone at Oregon

Lutheran at Dixon

Winnebago at Genoa-Kingston

Rock Falls at Byron

Week 7 (Saturday, April 17)

Stillman Valley at North Boone

Oregon at Rock Falls

Mendota at Dixon

Genoa-Kingston at Lutheran

Byron at Winnebago

*If the IHSA decides to NOT have a playoff system and allows a 9-game regular season instead, here is the ALTERNATIVE Weeks 8 & 9 schedule:

Week 8 (Saturday, April 24)

Oregon at Stillman Valley

Dixon at North Boone

Genoa-Kingston at Mendota

Lutheran at Byron

Rock Falls at Winnebago

Week 9 (Saturday, April May 1)

Rock Falls at Stillman Valley

Dixon at Oregon

North Boone at Genoa-Kingston

Byron at Mendota

Winnebago at Lutheran

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