CARTERVILLE (WSIL) -- Third tuesday of January, and as you approach the gym, you can hear the squeaking sounds of sneakers on the gynasium floor, the bounces of the ball on the hardwood, all familiar sounds during basketball season. However, this time last week it didn't appear an Illinois high school basketball season was in sight.
Since Friday the IDPH has provided positive updates. It is stilll unknown if games will occur but our athletes can now take the court.
We made our way inside the Carterville High School gym and saw the Lions taking part in their first practice of the season. The Carterville Lions are one of the first schools to practice with the new IDPH updates.
The masks were on. The kids were running the floor. It looked different. For the athletes it felt different. Even witnessed players giving high fives to themselves. But on this Tuesday afternoon, the Lions got to play.
"It's a great feeling just to be in the gym, just to be in the gym with the guys you spent so much time with, that's the best part, no question about it," Carterville Boys Head Basketball Coach Shane Hawkins said.
"Definitely crazy," Carterville senior Eli Downen said. "A couple of days ago we were doing nothing and today we were back in here. We were scrimmaging, doing drills, just fun to be back here with everybody else and being able to play basketball."
"We got a text on Sunday night saying we can be in here on Monday to come shoot again," Carterville senior Bryce Anderson said. "It feels good. Hopes are back up so hopefully we get something going soon."
"Just to be able to see them have fun and play a game again, although the future we don't know what it holds, don't know where we are going from here, just being in the gym is a step in the right direction," Hawkins said.