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CHICAGO (CBS) — High school football made a comeback in a big way Saturday, as hundreds of Chicago Public Schools students took to the field for the first time since the nine-day teachers’ strike put games on hold.
As CBS 2’s Courtney Gousman reports, the first four games kicked-off at 9:30 Saturday morning. There will be a total of 28 games played Saturday.
Because of the strike, which put all athletics on hold, it has been almost two weeks since CPS players competed.
Football players had to get in three days of official practice before a game could be played, in a rule put in place by the Illinois High School Association. On Friday, football players from Clemente Community Academy, 1147 N. Western Ave., were running drills in their gym.
The Clemente Wildcats will take on Bronzeville Sunday, and both the players and their coach say they’re just ready to get back to business.
“I’m excited we’re back. We’re back in pads. We’re back hitting. I mean, I love this,” said Clemente senior Demetrius Harris. “It hurt me a lot being on break. So I mean, I’m happy to be back.”
Added coach Mike Clark: “It set us back, but we’re working out the tweaks. A lot of teams around the city, it was delay, but we’re going to be OK.”
“I just trying to get them caught up, because, you know, if the Public League misses a week, that really hurts them in their playoff seedings, and they potentially get a game, and teams with five, six wins in the CPS could get knocked out of the state by not having enough points, so they need to get those games in to get those points going,” said
The first four games all kicked off at 9:30 a.m. at different stadiums. Tilden took on Urban Prep-Bronzeville at Eckersall Stadium, 2423 E. 82nd St.; Gage Park played Juarez at Rockne Stadium, 1117 S. Central Ave.; Manley took on Senn at Winnemac Stadium, 5105 N. Leavitt St.; and Dyett was up against Kennedy at Stagg Stadium, 1035 W. 74th St.
Another 15 games are scheduled for Sunday.