ALTON - For the first time, the Alton High Redbirds will take the field on the newly installed turf surface with new, modern scoreboard, in a historic game with the arch-rival Edwardsville Tigers. The game will be streamed live on

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As far as the Redbirds go, practice has also gone well, and Alton is ready to go out and play. The fall season was suspended because of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

"They're going well," Alton head coach Eric Dickerson said of his AHS football boys. "They want to get out there and play a game. It's been kind of hectic, and it came kind of quick. We've had 16 days of practice, and things are just about ready to go."

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Dickerson is looking ahead to playing on the new field.

"It's a great facility," Dickerson said. "We've been practicing there since March 3, and especially with the way the weather has been lately, it's nice to have the turf. It's safer, and it's got some cushion, where as in our day, it was asphalt and an inch of turf, and you went out and played. It was not comfortable to play on, that's for sure."

Coach Dickerson will be counting on the senior leadership of his team to enjoy success this season.

"I'm looking toward the seniors to be the leaders," Dickerson said, "and show our younger kids the way. We've got a good group of seniors who have played together for a while, and they're chomping at the bit to get out there."

Playing the first game for both teams in nearly a year-and-a-half is leading towards some uncertainty of what may happen on Friday night.

"It's been so long since we played a game," Dickerson said, "so I just want us to get out, get in the flow and execute."

"We've been holding out hope for a long time," he added, "and when we got the get-go to play six games, we're pretty excited. We're just looking to play some football, even in March. We'll take it."

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