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SJO football on tap, Spartans open on the road March 20

John Michael Ehmen plays defense for St. Joseph-Ogden in 2019
SJO linebacker John Michael Ehmen flows with the ball while playing in SJO's last football game in over a year. The Spartans are slated to return to action on March 20.

Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks

Seventeen days after they start practice in March, the St. Joseph-Ogden football team will play their first game of the 2020-21 school year on 20th. For those not keeping track, it will be the first time since the first round playoff game against the state champion Williamsville team back on November 2, 2019, that head coach Shawn Skinner and the Spartans will take to the gridiron. The season opener, featuring members of the Class of 2021, will at Illinois Valley Central.

The six game schedule also includes a non-conference Thursday night contest at Charleston against the Trojans on April 1. The five other games will be battles against fellow Illini Prairie Conference schools.

One highlight on this season's lineup is the Spartans will host just two home games during the abbreviated spring season.

The first one of the campaign is against Pontiac on March 26 and the second against Bloomington Central Catholic on April 16. Fans, who don't mind a short drive, can catch a third game at Unity's Hicks Field on April 9.

SJO's final contest of the season will be a Saturday game against Monticello on April 24, a team the Spartan program has not beaten since 2016.

The 24th will be the last official day of IHSA sanctioned football until August. Meanwhile, under the approved Illinois Department of Public Health plan, the IHSA's revised pandemic schedule for spring sports such as baseball, track & field and lacrosse will already be underway. Practices for those sports are scheduled to begin on April 5 with games starting as early as April 12.

2021 SJO Football Schedule

March 20 • at Illinois Valley Central
March 26 • vs Pontiac
April 1 • at Charleston
April 9 • at Unity
April 16 • vs Central Catholic
April 24 • at Monticello

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