Aug. 14, 2000
PRACTICE NOTES: It was hot and sunny again for the Illini football team's return to two-a-days at the former Chanute Air Force Base. The team ended the first session of the day with three team periods with live hitting and a full officials crew. In morning 7-on-7 action, quarterback Kurt Kittner went 10-of-14 for 134 yards, including a 42-yard reception by Aaron Moorehead and a 30-yard touchdown catch by Dwayne Smith. Dustin Ward completed seven passes on nine attempts for 158 yards with a touchdown pass to Eric McGoey for 78 yards. After a lively afternoon workout the team was greeted by a local youth football team, the Rantoul Falcons, for autographs and photos.
The Fighting Illini will suit up for the first full-pad practice of the 2000 season on Tuesday morning. The NCAA requires three days (not including Sunday) of practice before workouts can be held in complete gear.
"I'm really excited (about the first padded practice). That is real ball," Head Coach Ron Turner said. "This is half ball, that is real football. This will be good for them. They're tired and hurting and they have to turn it up again (with pads). Everyday we are getting sharper and we are still installing new things to our offense every day."
THE IHSA IS COMING TO TOWN: The Illinois High School Association approved action to move the IHSA Football Championships to Champaign-Urbana for the 2000 season. The games will be played on Nov. 24-25, 2000 at Memorial Stadium. Previously the IHSA Board approved the proposal from Illinois to host the title games for five years beginning with the games of 2001. In addition, the Board approved expanding the playoffs from six to eight classes beginning with the 2001 series.
"I love it (hosting the IHSA Championships)," Turner said. "We have the opportunity to see 12 good teams and a lot of young players. I get to meet with a lot of players and coaches."
UPCOMING EVENTS: Tuesday, Aug. 15 8:30 a.m./3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 16 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 17 8:30 a.m./3:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 18 8:30 a.m./3:30 p.m.