By Kyle Daubs

Coles County should be proud. 

When I think of how I would summarize the fall sports season that was impacted by COVID-19 for our surrounding high schools, the only word that I can think of is proud. 

Proud that two golf programs, CHS girls and MHS boys, would have qualified for state. 

Proud that the Charleston girls golf team navigated its way to an eighth straight Regional championship, while also winning the Apollo Conference championship.

Proud that the Mattoon boys golf team kept the Apollo Confrence championship in Coles County, and that it was impossible to determine who the best golfer on the team was. 

Proud that three of the four cross country programs qualified for the IHSA sectional, and even more proud that three individuals would have represented the area at the state meet. 

Proud that a Charleston girls swim program that does not usually get recognition was put on the map after a third-place finish at its sectional. 

Proud, but more excited, that sophomore Angela Coe is on a trajectory to being one of the best swimmers in the state.

Proud that Mattoon cross country head coach Troy Haacke was able to coach his daughter, three-time state qualifier Kylie Haacke, for her entire cross country career. 

Proud that I was able to watch Haacke accomplish everything she has in her athletic career, and fortunate to have coached her for one season.

Proud that Megan Garrett proved to the world that you can come back from a devastating injury and do anything when you put your mind to it 

Proud that Colton Romine, who lost the Apollo Conference in a shootout to his own teammate Stewart Druin, cared more about the team title. 

Proud that Meade Johnson was able to share a special father-son moment after winning medalist honors at the regional. 

Proud that senior Callan Haldrosen grinded out a state berth, while simultaneously leading a group of Green Wave golfers that primarily had never played golf before. 

Proud that Quincy Hamilton taught me a new phrase (hay is in the barn), Brock Davee could give me an honest answer on any question, and that Trent Hettinger, Mac Beadles, and Co. are going to be brothers forever. 

Proud that four Green Wave girls runners in Ashley Jobe, Chloe Jobe, Oakley Layton, and Halle Perry shredded their own PRs to help Mattoon qualify for the sectional by just two points. 

Proud of Coach Dwight Perry for everything he has accomplished and showing me from a far away distance the kind of coach that I want to be. 

Finally, proud of the community support that was poured into these programs during one of the toughest times that we have ever lived through. 

Coles County, I’m proud of you and I’m proud to say that I came from you. 

And, for those who know me, getting told that I am proud of you is very hard to come by.