When I was a little girl, my dad and my uncle once took me to a Friday night high school football game. To this day, some 40 years later, I can still remember the smells of the hot dogs and popcorn, the sounds of the marching bands and the loud cheers of the crowd.
There is nothing that makes a community feel more like a community than a high school football game. Taking your children to a football game is a great way to embrace your community as well as letting you for a brief moment, feel young again. Something about the chill in the air, the marching band and people screaming their brains out that just feels like small-town U.S.A. Here is my comprehensive list of all things Friday night and football, so no more excuses.
Lake County Football Conferences
First, you need to know that there are several conferences within our county. You can head to the IHSA website to see them, but I have done most of the work for you. The conferences that are the most representative of Lake County are North Suburban and Northern Lake County; a few schools are in the Mid-Suburban and Central Suburban conferences. Conferences, schools, and links to local high school football schedules are located at the end of this article.
Tailgating at High School Football Games
Tailgating might be loads of fun for professional football games, but for high school games, it probably isn’t the best idea. Hanging out by your car in lawn chairs in a high school parking lot with teenage drivers everywhere? No, thank you. Maybe tailgate in your driveway before you leave. I will supply the hot dogs.
A few tips to help save you money:
- Get a season pass if you live close to your local high school or have children who love watching the games. It will save you money in the long run and then you don’t have to hassle with your wallet and cash at the gate every time you visit. You can usually purchase them at the first game of the season or contact your local high school, and they will direct you to the correct department.
- Bring snacks if you don’t want to spend your paycheck at the concession stand. I am all for supporting your local schools, and the concession stands are a big way to help out but after hearing CAN I GET ONE MORE SOUR PATCH KIDS for the eighth time in an hour? You will want reinforcements.
- Stay for the half time show, if you can. The band and cheerleaders work really hard all summer long, they are a big part of the magic of Friday night lights, and your children will love it too.
- But, leave after the half time show. You have seen it all, and unless it is a nail biter of a game, you will want to get out of Dodge before all of the traffic. And trust me, there is traffic and again, hundreds of teenage drivers.
Click on the links below for each school’s football schedule. Addresses are listed for the high school campus.
The Northern Lake County Conference includes the following high schools:
- Antioch Community High School Football, 1133 Main Street, Antioch
- Grant Community High School Football, 285 E. Grand Avenue, Fox Lake
- Grayslake Central High School Football, 400 N. Lake Street, Grayslake
- Grayslake North High School Football, 1925 N. Illinois 83, Round Lake Beach
- Lakes Community High School Football, 1600 Eagle Way, Lake Villa
- North Chicago High School Football, 1717 17th Street, North Chicago
- Round Lake High School Football, 800 Panther Blvd., Round Lake
- Wauconda High School Football, 555 N. Main Street, Wauconda
The North Suburban Conference includes the following high schools:
- Warren Township High School Football, 34090 Almond Rd., Gurnee
- Lake Forest High School Football, 1285 N. McKinley Rd., Lake Forest
- Lake Zurich High School Football, 300 Church St., Lake Zurich
- Libertyville High School Football, 708 W. Park Avenue, Libertyville
- Stevenson High School Football, Stevenson Dr., Lincolnshire
- Mundelein High School Football, 1350 W. Hawley Street, Mundelein
- Waukegan High School Football, 2325 Brookside Avenue, Waukegan
- Zion-Benton High School Football, 3901 21st Avenue, Zion
The Central Suburban Conference includes the following area high schools:
- Deerfield High School Football, 1959 Waukegan Rd., Deerfield
- Highland Park High School, 433 Vine Ave., Highland Park
- Glenbrook North High School Football, 2300 Shermer Rd., Northbrook
- Vernon Hills High School Football, 145 Lakeview Pkwy., Vernon Hills
- Cook County schools in the conference, Maine West (Des Plaines), Evanston Township, Glenbrook South (Glenview), Maine East (Park Ridge, Niles North (Skokie), Nies West (Skokie), and New Trier (Winnetka)
The Mid-Suburban League includes the following area high schools:
- Buffalo Grove High School Football, 100 W. Dundee Rd., Buffalo Grove
- Rolling Meadows High School Football, 2901 Central Rd., Rolling Meadows
- Wheeling High School Football, 900 S. Elmhurst Rd., Wheeling
- Barrington High School Football, 616 W. Main St., Barrington
- Cook County Schools in the Conference: Hersey (Arlington Heights), Elk Grove, Prospect (Mounty Prospect), Conant (Hoffman Estates), Hoffman Estates, Fremd (Palatine), Palatine, and Schaumburg.
Jr. Football in Lake County
Another idea for football watching with the kids is attending a junior football game, and in Lake County, there are plenty to choose from. Kids watching kids play football is a great option and offers less expensive tickets for football viewing as well.
Here are some choices for youth football in our area:
- Grayslake Colts
- Lake County Stallions (flag football)
- Lake Villa Timberwolves
- Libertyville Boys Club (flag and youth football)
- Vernon Hills Cougars
- Zion Benton- Jr. Zee Bees
- Warren Youth Football (Gurnee)
- Waukegan Jr. Bulldogs
Have fun cheering on your favorite team!
Have you taken your kids to a high school football game? Which team is your favorite to cheer on in Lake County?