Change is nothing new: Modified schedules the norm across La Salle, Bureau, Livingston, Woodford, Kendall, Lee counties

IHSA’s official fall schedules released; kickoffs begin Aug. 27

Here is a team-by-team rundown of the IHSA’s recently released official football schedules across the region:

La Salle-Peru Cavaliers

The conference carousel sees both the Cavaliers and archrival Ottawa remaining in the Interstate Eight Conference, but for football now as members of the Kishwaukee River/Interstate Eight White (KWI8 White). As such, there are some new wrinkles to the schedule for fall 2021.

L-P (5-5 in 2019) keeps its Week 1 game with Morton, this year at Morton, then returns to Howard Fellows Stadium for a three-game homestand against Metamora on Sept. 3, Ottawa on Sept. 10 and Sandwich on Sept. 17. The Cavaliers close out the month with a Week 5 visit to conference foe Sycamore.

October sees L-P play new conference foes Woodstock North at home Oct. 1 and Woodstock on the road Oct. 8, then close things out with conference matchups home against Morris Oct. 15 and at Kaneland Oct. 22.

All games after the 7:30 p.m. season opener are scheduled for 7 p.m. kickoffs.

Ottawa Pirates

Like their archrivals, the Pirates are now part of the Kishwaukee River/Interstate Eight White (KWI8 White) Conference, with Sycamore, Woodstock and Woodstock North now all conference foes.

Ottawa (1-8 in 2019) opens Aug, 27 with a crossover visit to Sandwich, then hosts old rival Streator Sept. 3 in the resumption and 97th meeting of the state’s third-oldest high school football rivalry, one recent research by Shaw Media confirms dates back to 1894, not 1895 as previously recorded. Another high-emotion showdown awaits in Week 3 at La Salle-Peru.

From there, the Pirates host Sycamore on Sept. 17, visit Woodstock North on Sept. 24, host Woodstock on Oct. 1, visit Morris on Oct. 8 and close the season at King Field with contests against Kaneland in Week 8 and Plano in Week 9.

All games are scheduled for 7 p.m. kickoffs.

Sandwich Indians

On the other side of the aforementioned Kishwaukee River/Interstate Eight merger – the Blue side, to be specific – is Sandwich, now in a league with archrival Plano, Rochelle and four new schools.

The Indians (4-5 in 2019) host Ottawa for the Aug. 27 season opener, then visit Geneseo in Week 2, host Plano on Sept. 10, then visit L-P in Week 3 and Richmond-Burton in Week 4.

October brings a visit from Johnsburg on Oct. 1, a trip to Harvard on Oct. 8, a home game against Marengo in Week 8 and the regular-season finale Oct. 22 at Rochelle.

All games are scheduled for 7 p.m. kickoffs.

Streator Bulldogs

Amid the continuing whirlwind of conference changes, Streator’s league and schedule remain unchanged … with one notable exception.

After opening at home against East Peoria on Aug. 27, Sept. 3 finally will see the resumption and 97th meeting of the state’s third-oldest high school football rivalry as the Bulldogs travel up Route 23 to visit Ottawa for the old rivals’ first meeting since Sept. 13, 2013.

From there, it’s all Illinois Central Eight Conference games. Streator (2-7 in 2019) hosts Herscher in Week 3, visits Lisle in Week 4 and hosts Manteno on Sept. 24. In October, it’s at Peotone on Oct. 1, home vs. Reed-Custer on Oct. 8, then at Wilmington on Oct. 15 and at Coal City come Oct. 22.

All games are scheduled for 7 p.m. kickoffs.

Princeton Tigers

Princeton will aim to continue its stellar run beginning with an opponent the Tigers didn’t play during their magical 2019 season, opening at home Aug. 27 against Rockridge.

After that, the Tigers (11-2 in 2019) visit Orion on Sept. 3 and Hall for the Three Rivers Mississippi opener Sept. 10. Week 4 brings Mendota to town, Week 5 is a visit to Kewanee, and October sees Sterling Newman visit Oct. 1, a visit to St. Bede on Oct. 8, then two home games to wrap up the regular season against Bureau Valley come Oct. 15 and then Monmouth-Roseville on Oct. 22.

All games are scheduled for 7 p.m. kickoffs.

St. Bede Bruins

The Bedans (1-8 in 2019) face a similar Three Rivers Mississippi slate down the stretch, but first open with a pair of road games – Aug. 27 at Sherrard and Sept. 3 at Erie-Prophetstown. The conference opener also is away, a Week 3 visit to Kewanee, but then the Bruins have back-to-back home games vs. Sterling Newman on Sept. 17 and Port Byron Riverdale on Sept. 25.

The next month brings an Oct. 1 visit to Bureau Valley, an Oct. 8 home game with Princeton, an Oct. 15 trip to Spring Valley to face Hall and an Oct. 22 regular-season finale at home against Mendota.

All games are scheduled for 7 p.m. kickoffs.

Mendota Trojans

Mendota (1-8 in 2019) joins the Three Rivers Mississippi and resumes multiple lapsed regional rivalries as a result of the move.

The 2021 slate begins with a home game Aug. 27 against Erie-Prophetstown, a road game Sept. 3 against Port Byron Riverdale and a home game Sept. 10 against Bureau Valley followed by a Sept. 17 visit to Princeton. Two more home games follow, Sept. 24 vs. Hall and Oct. 1 against Sherrard, before a visit to Kewanee in Week 7, a home game with Sterling Newman on Oct. 15 and a regular-season-ending trip to St. Bede on Oct. 22.

All games are scheduled for 7 p.m. kickoffs.

Hall Red Devils

A new Week 1 opponent, Orion, will visit Spring Valley to open the season Aug. 27.

Hall (7-4 in 2019) in September will be at Monmouth-Roseville on Sept. 3, host Princeton for the Three Rivers Mississippi opener Sept. 10 and Morrison on Sept. 17, then visit Mendota on Sept. 24. October will see the Red Devils host Kewanee on Oct. 1, visit Sterling Newman on Oct. 8, host St. Bede on Oct. 15 and visit Bureau Valley on Oct. 22.

All games are scheduled for 7 p.m. kickoffs.

Bureau Valley Storm

The Storm are sliding over from the Three Rivers Rock to the Three Rivers Mississippi and see their schedule modified accordingly.

After the Aug. 27 home opener against former division rival Port Byron Riverdale and a Sept. 3 visit to Sherrard, the Storm (0-9 in 2019) open conference play with a Week 3 visit to Mendota, a Week 5 home game with Kewanee and a Sept. 24 trip to Sterling Newman.

In October, Bureau Valley hosts St. Bede on the 1st, hosts Erie-Prophetstown on the 8th, visits Princeton on the 15th and closes out the regular season at home against Hall on the 22nd.

All games are scheduled for 7 p.m. kickoffs.

Marquette Crusaders

As they were in the COVID-19-abbreviated spring season, the Crusaders (7-3 in 2019) will play as independents in 2021. Only one opponent – Walther Christian – is back from the 2019 slate of games, which sees Marquette go south more than has been the case in the past.

The opener is Aug. 27 at home against Dakota, followed by three road contests at Chicago Christian in Week 2, Deer Creek-Mackinaw in Week 3 and Heyworth in Week 4. Three home games follow against Chicago Hope on Sept. 24, LeRoy on Oct. 1 and Walther Christian on Oct. 8. The Cru closes the regular season with a visit to Christ the King and an Oct. 23 Saturday afternoon home game with the Fisher Bunnies.

Most kickoffs are scheduled for 7 p.m. with the exception of Chicago Christian (7:15), Christ the King (7:30) and Fisher (1 p.m.).

Seneca Fighting Irish

The collapse of the Sangamon Valley Conference led the Fighting Irish to the Vermillion Valley Football Alliance’s North Division, although they’ll see a lot of familiar faces from their former league there for in-division contests.

Seneca (5-5 in 2019) opens at home Aug. 27 against Westville, then takes a Thursday visit to face Hoopeston/Armstrong. From there the Irish have a Sept. 10 home game with Salt Fork, a Sept. 17 trip to Georgetown-Ridge Farm, a Sept. 24 home game against Iroquois West, visits Oct. 1 to Watseka and Oct. 8 to Momence, an Oct. 15 visit from Clifton Central and a trip to Dwight on Oct. 22 to close the regular season.

All games are scheduled for 7 p.m. kickoffs.

Fieldcrest Knights

Coming off a 12-1 2019 and 4-0 spring 2021, the Knights open the fall 2021 season with some uncertainty – no opponent scheduled for Week 1.

After that it’s a typical Heart of Illinois Conference slate, although opening – as of now – Sept. 3 at El Paso-Gridley. The Knights open at home Sept. 10 vs. Fisher and Sept. 17 against Eureka in the annual Veterans’ Bowl. Down the stretch it’s at LeRoy on Sept. 24, a three-game homestand vs. Tri-Valley on Oct. 1, Stockton on Oct. 9 and Dee-Mack on Oct. 15, then the regular-season finale at Tremont on Oct. 22.

All games have 7 p.m. kickoffs except for the Saturday visit from Stockton, which is at 2 p.m.

FCW Falcons

Two of the area’s two Illinois 8-Man Football Association members, Flanagan-Cornell/Woodland and Lowpoint-Washburn/Henry-Senachwine, were scheduled to open the season against each other Aug. 27 in Flanagan, although that game is in doubt as LWHS has notified Flanagan athletic director Brian Yoder it may not field a team.

From there the Falcons (8-4 in 2019) continue a run of Friday night games at Peoria Heights, at Woodland against North Fulton, at Flanagan Sept. 17 against powerhouse Milford-Cissna Park and again Sept 24 vs. Polo.

FCW will close out the regular season in October with three Friday night games – Oct. 1 vs. West Central in Biggsville, Oct. 8 at Woodland against Rockford Christian Life and Oct. 15 at Flanagan’s former Heart of Illinois Conference rival, Blue Ridge – and a Saturday afternoon Week 9 finale at Champaign St. Thomas More.

Amboy-LaMoille Clippers

The Clippers move to the eight-man game and join the Illinois 8-Man Football Association’s North Conference, the same half of the I8FA as Flanagan-Cornell/Woodland.

Amboy-LaMoille (2-7 playing 11-man in 2019) opens Aug. 27 at home against Peoria Heights, then hits the road for two contests at Milledgeville and at Polo. Week 4 brings West Central to town, but Week 5′s scheduled home game with Lowpoint-Washburn/Henry-Senachwine could be in doubt (see above).

The Clippers close their schedule in October visiting Kirkland Hiawatha on the 1st, hosting Ashton-Franklin Center on the 8th, visiting Orangeville the 16th for a 1 p.m. Saturday game and visiting Alden-Hebron on Oct. 22.

All games aside from Orangeville have 7 p.m. kickoffs.

J.T. Pedelty

J.T. Pedelty

J.T. is a graduate of Streator High School, Illinois Valley Community College and Southern Illinois University-Carbondale who is some 22 years into an award-winning sports journalism career.