Now, that the IHSA has announced that high school sports can restart within a week, athletic directors will be working to assemble schedules and finalize safety guidelines for events.

We’ll share updated schedules and guidelines as they become available.

Here are reactions from area coaches and school administrators.

I am very excited with the decision. It is great news. We have a number of seniors that have worked hard and I am so thankful they will be able to play.

Troy Johnson, MHS football coach

Athletes, parents and coaches are very excited and thrilled to be able to get back to playing volleyball matches again soon! We sincerely appreciate and are grateful for the work done by the IHSA and the school administrators to make these high school sports seasons a possibility this school year.

Steve Pamperin, CHS volleyball coach

We are excited for students, families, and coaches to have the opportunity to safely participate in sports and activities. 

Tim Condrin, Mattoon community schools superintendent

Players, parents, and coaches are excited for a chance to play some games. Mr. Zerrusen will be putting together a schedule to get us playing as soon as possible. The kids have been super through the changes throughout the year. Whatever we have asked of them they have done it … just for this chance to play. I’m happy they get to play. I think everyone’s ready for some games and taking some steps toward normalcy.

Brad Oakley, CHS boys basketball coach

I’m excited to be able to have the opportunity to work with our student-athletes this year.  We will be looking outside the box to make this season as fun and competitive as possible. There is a lot of time between now and April – and, with this ever-changing situation, there are no guarantees. My feeling is our student-athletes will need to be self-motivated to prepare for multiple sports in a short period of time. The time to safely begin this process is now, regardless what sport or discipline they wish to excel.  People are hungry to get started. But without proper conditioning, I’m afraid kids could get injured.

Brett Porter, MHS wrestling coach

I’m glad the IHSA made this decision today. It’s time to get the student-athletes back onto the fields, courts, tracks, etc. I think we know enough about the disease that appropriate safety precautions can be undertaken to keep the players safe. This is a big step toward returning to some sense of normalcy for students and their families.

Josh Garrett, CHS soccer coach

The kids were really excited today at open gym when we found out the plan. I am really happy for our seniors. It looks like there will be quite a bit of overlapping, but the coaches will find a way to make it work so that kids can participate in multiply sports. We are really looking forward to being able to play again.

Ryan Ghere, MHS soccer coach

I’m extremely excited for all student athletes. We will adjust a bit for our softball season, but glad we are getting an opportunity to compete and possibly participate in a state series.

Blain Mayhall, CHS/CMS softball coach

Today’s announcement from the IHSA is great news for kids and coaches. Everyone is excited to get back to activities and sports.

Dave Vieth, MHS athletic director

I am very excited for the athletes to have an opportunity to compete.  The lack of sports for much of the last year has had a dramatic impact on the young people throughout the country.  It is tremendous that the IHSA has made the decision to let them play and allow a sense of normalcy to return for so many.

Jarod Kiger, MHS baseball coach

I’m very excited for the athletes to get to do what they love and, hopefully, begin to feel a sense of normalcy. 

Derrick Zerrusen, CHS athletic director