When does the high school football season begin? What are the schedules? Find out here...

Matthew Wheaton
Galesburg Register-Mail
United High School football coach David Milroy chats with Mason Hootman, a 2022 grad, during a home game against Princeville last September.

It may be hard to fathom but less than a month from now high school football teams across Illinois will open the 2022 season via their first games.

This is the final week coaches and their student-athletes will see each other in team camps, and then they'll take a week off aka "dead period" before the first official practices this fall. Those will take place Monday, Aug. 8.

The first contests of the season can be held on Thursday, Aug. 25 but most will wait until the following day before "Friday Night Lights." Due to an ongoing football officials shortage in the Land of Lincoln, there's teams competing on Thursday evenings and Saturday afternoons this fall, and schedules may be adjusted as 2022 moves along.

The Illinois High School Association will announce the football playoff pairings on Saturday, Oct. 22, as the regular season concludes Friday, Oct. 21. The first round of postseason games will take place either Friday, Oct. 28 or Saturday, Oct. 29. We're still about four months away from that. However, time will fly by quickly, and before one knows it coaches, fans and players will be hoping they'll get an opportunity to play in Week 10.

More:Ready for some football? Here's how Galesburg High School is preparing for the season

Unlike some sports, football teams aren't guaranteed a playoff affair. Regular season records play a big part in determining who makes the cut. Five victories in the regular season almost always ensures a squad will. In 2021, there was some chatter teams with 4-5 overall marks could make the cut. In the end, none did. In fact, one team with a 5-4 record missed the playoffs.

Galesburg started off 2021 with three straight defeats. However, the Silver Streaks slowly worked out the kinks, and they went 4-2 overall to close out the season. Three of Galesburg's losses were by four points or less.

Derrek Blackwell, who was hired as the Streaks' mentor last June after a dozen years as an assistant, wants his team to improve daily, and Galesburg aims to not be on the playoff bubble this fall.

Only time will tell for Blackwell, and the rest of the football coaches in Illinois as they figure out who will fill key roles and replace players lost due to graduation.

When exactly is the Streaks' first game in 2022? How about the other teams in the Galesburg-area? Find out below...

2022 Schedules

Galesburg 

4-5 overall in 2021

Friday, Aug. 26 at Dunlap, 7:30 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 2 vs Thornton, 7 p.m.

Friday. Sept. 9 vs Sterling, 7 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 16 at Geneseo, 7 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 23 vs Quincy, 7 p.m.

Friday. Sept. 30 at Rock Island, 7 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 7 vs Moline, 7 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 14 at United Township, 7 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 21 vs Alleman, 7 p.m. 

Abingdon-Avon 

10-2 overall in 2021

Friday, Aug. 26 at ROWVA/Williamsfield, 7 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 2 vs Stark County, 7 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 10 at West Carroll, 1 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 16 at Mercer County, 7 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 23 vs Annawan/Wethersfield,  7 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 30 vs Havana, 7 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 7 at Princeville, 7 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 14 vs Knoxville, 7 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 21 at United, 7 p.m.

Knoxville

8-2 overall in 2021

Friday, Aug. 26 vs Princeville, 7 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 2 vs Mercer County, 7 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 9 at Stark County, 7 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 16 at United, 7 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 24 vs Durand/Pecatonica, 1 p.m. 

Friday, Sept. 30 at Annawan/Wethersfield, 7 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 7 vs Illini West, 7 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 14 at Abingdon-Avon, 7 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 21 vs ROWVA/Williamsfield, 7 p.m.

LVC Miners (Lewistown, Valley, Cuba)

First season as co-op

Lewistown went 2-7 overall in 2021, and North Fulton didn’t field a varsity team last fall

Friday, Aug. 26 at Havana, 7 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 2 vs Illini West, 7 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 9 at Rushville-Industry, 7 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 16 vs South Fulton, 7 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 23 at Princeville, 7 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 30 vs West Hancock, 7 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 7 vs Macomb, 7 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 14 at Elmwood/Brimfield, 7 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 21 at Farmington, 7 p.m.

Monmouth-Roseville

6-4 overall in 2021

Friday, Aug. 26 vs Kewanee, 7 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 2 at Spring Valley Hall, 7 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 10 vs Morrison, 5 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 16 at Sherrard, 7 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 23 vs Rockridge, 7 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 30 at Orion, 7 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 8 vs Riverdale, Noon

Friday, Oct. 14 at Erie-Prophetstown, 7 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 21 vs Princeton, 7 p.m.

ROWVA/Williamsfield

2-7 overall in 2021

Friday, Aug. 26 vs Abingdon-Avon, 7 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 3 vs Dup, 2 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 9 vs Macomb, 7 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 16 at Princeville, 7 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 23 vs Mercer County, 7 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 30 at Stark County, 7 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 7 vs United, 7 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 14 vs Annawan/Wethersfield, 7 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 21 at Knoxville, 7 p.m.

United

6-4 overall in 2021

Friday, Aug. 26 vs Annawan/Wethersfield, 7 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 2 at Princeville, 7 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 9 at Mercer County, 7 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 16 vs Knoxville, 7 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 23 vs Stark County, 7 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 1 vs Walther Christian, 1 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 7 at ROWVA/Williamsfield, 7 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 14 at Rushville-Industry, 7 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 21 at Abingdon-Avon, 7 p.m.

8-Man Schedules

Bushnell-Prairie City

4-5 overall in 2021

Friday, Aug. 26 vs West Central, 7 p.m.

Thursday, Sept. 1 at Ridgewood, 7 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 10 at Galva, 11 a.m.

Saturday, Sept. 17 at St. Thomas More, 2 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 23 vs Peoria Heights, 7 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 30 vs Polo, 7 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 8 vs Amboy/LaMoille, 2 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 15 vs Pawnee, 2 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 21 at West Prairie, 7 p.m.

Galva

0-9 overall in 2021

Friday, Aug. 26 at Ridgewood, 7 p.m.

Thursday, Sept. 1 vs Peoria Heights, 6 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 10 vs Bushnell-Prairie City, 11 a.m.

Friday, Sept. 16 at Metro-East Lutheran, 7 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 24 at Parkview Christian Academy, Noon

Friday, Sept. 30 vs West Prairie, 6 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 7 at Franklin Center, 7 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 15 at West Central, 1 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 22 at Farmer City/Blue Ridge, TBD

Ridgewood

0-9 overall in 2021 in 11-Man; 2022 first season in 8-man

Friday, Aug. 26 vs Galva, 7 p.m.

Thursday, Sept. 1 vs Bushnell-Prairie City, 7 p.m. 

Friday, Sept. 9 at West Central, 7 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 16 at West Prairie, 7 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 23 at Freeport Aquin, 7 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 1 vs Peoria Heights, 1 p.m.

Saturday, Oct,. 8 vs TBD, TBD

Saturday, Oct. 15 at Kincaid South Fork, 1 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 22 vs Cornell-Flanagan, 1 p.m.

West Central 

7-2 overall in 2021

Friday, Aug. 26 at Bushnell-Prairie City, 7 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 3 vs West Prairie, 1 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 9 vs Ridgewood, 7 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 17 at Peoria Heights, 1:30 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 23 vs Cornell-Woodland, 7 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 30 vs Freeport Aquin, 7 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 7 at Milledgeville, 7 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 15 vs Galva, 1 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 21 at Amboy/LaMoille, 7 p.m.