By Kyle Daubs

Looks like all spring sports teams will be able to compete in postseason events.

The summer sports season, formally known as the spring sports season, kicked off on April 6. Baseball, softball, and track have begun their first games and meets. Girls soccer is waiting for boys soccer to wrap up their final week of games, while boys tennis has just started.

On Monday, the IHSA Board of Directors made several updates, including updating the mask policy, but the biggest news was that the board had finalized dates for a 2021 Summer State Series. 

That means regional, sectional, super-sectional and state events will be conducted in their respective sports. 

“The girls were extremely excited about the news,” said Charleston High softball coach Blain Mayhall. “We are all very excited that softball will have a state series.  I feel terrible for the other sports that weren’t able to enjoy that experience this year. Our goal is to take advantage of this great opportunity we were given and to compete at the highest level in June. Obviously, our first priority is to keep everyone safe.  Softball lends itself to some great social distance.  So, we feel like without the masks during competition, we can keep everyone safe.  ”

Charleston baseball opened the season Tuesday, playing three games in three days.

Mattoon baseball kicks off with a doubleheader at 11 a.m. Saturday against Champaign Centennial.

Charleston softball hosts Arcola for a game at 11 a.m. on Saturday.

Mattoon softball, which lost its opener 2-1 to Effingham on Tuesday, plays host to Normal West at 4:30 p.m today at the Round House Complex.

“We are glad that the players on the field don’t have to wear masks,” said CHS baseball coach Derrick Landrus. “We are just happy to be playing period and the team is excited about having the full postseason.  There’s nothing more exciting than the feel of a wild-card baseball playoff game every game.”

Athletes competing in sports no longer are required to wear masks.

“Some of our athletes have gone through a lot over the past year, mentally and physically,” said Mattoon softball coach Hannah Dow. “Having the postseason play back in action has brought some excitement and a little bit of normalcy back to our team.”

The full state finals schedule is listed below:

Baseball State Finals

June 17: Class 1A at Illinois State University

June 17: Class 3A at Schaumburg Boomers

June 18: Class 2A at Illinois State University

June 18: Class 4A at Joliet Slammers

Softball State Finals

June 16: Class 1A & 2A State Finals at Louisville Slugger in Peoria

June 17: Class 3A & 4A State Finals at Louisville Slugger in Peoria

Track & Field State Finals

June 10: Class 1A Girls

June 11: Class 2A Girls

June 12: Class 3A Girls

June 17: Class 1A Boys

June 18: Class 2A Boys

June 19: Class 3A Boys