Rantoul '98 is Underway
Spirited Illini practices highlight opening day of training camp - 8/14/98
The full Fighting Illini football squad opened fall training camp with double session drills today in Rantoul on the former Chanute Air Force Base. Illinois spent both sessions in shorts, working on individual drills, 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 to conclude the afternoon practice session. It was a spirited day of practice with temperatures hovering in the mid-80's and highlighted by outstanding interceptions by juniors Ivan Benson and Johnnie Harris and an acrobatic touchdown catch through two defenders by junior college receiver Connie Moore on a 50-yard bomb from senior Mark Hoekstra.
RANTOUL: THE DAILY SETUP:
The Illinois football squad is headquartered at the Fanmarker Inn in Rantoul on the former Chanute Air Force Base, named for Air Force pioneer Octavus Chanute, who created many of the early Air Force programs in the early 1920's. The Illini have dorm rooms, dining hall, three 100-yard practice fields, an outdoor weight room and a locker room all contained within a two-minute walk. The team meetings and position meetings are held a few minutes away at Virgil I. "Gus" Grissom Hall, named for the famous Air Force test pilott and original Mercury '7' astronaut who died tragically in 1968 as his Apollo space capsule burned during a routine training exercise at Cape Canaveral. The Illini have two practices daily at 8:30 a.m. and 3:45 p.m. Each practice lasts approximately two hours.