I don’t have any fancy introduction. We are one month into the fall sports season. Here is what I have seen and here is what I think is going to happen over the next month. 

Let’s just get right into it. 

Lincoln football made me look downright silly. I am not convinced that Charleston has a poor team by any means, but it’s more that Lincoln improved from last year. Could Lincoln get their first winning season since the 1980s? Charleston football still has a way to win five games this season, so we shouldn’t let one win detour the fact their team can still compete. 

Mattoon football had two of the toughest games to open the season with conference champion Troy Triad and likely Apollo Conference front runner Mount Zion. Before we all start panicking about their 0-2 start, let the Green Wave try and redeem themselves this week against potential last-place finisher Taylorville. A win there would go a long way. Next week, Effingham is up and that team is far behind what they were a year ago. 

Apollo Conference soccer starts this week. Ryan Ghere’s squad looks competitive from the start. There should be some pretty good game on the road at home this season for the Green Wave. Meanwhile, we need to be patient with Zach Stranz in his first year and look for the positives. You can’t judge a coach trying to rebuild something until his third year. 

How about Kayla Quick’s Mattoon volleyball squad? A 6-1 start to the season has got to have some sort of positive effect on a team that won just two games last year. This senior class was one of her first groups when she got into the coaching scene. It is clearly showing. 

Granted, the Apollo Conference is always a gauntlet and the team has played an inexperienced Charleston squad only. With that said, a .500 record in conference play could help the team push to 20 wins. Only 14 to go, right?

Apollo Conference golf is just a mere two weeks away. The boys from Mattoon and the girls from Charleston figure to be leaders for the title. 

The Mattoon boys golf team has been surging as of late. Freshman Madden Johnson is pushing Stewart Druin towards Apollo Conference medalist contention. It must be a nice problem to have for a boys golf team that graduated three key pieces from a team that would have made state. 

The Craig Dixon Invite is this upcoming week. The invite is named after the late golf coach who lost his battle to ALS. Just imagine, in a few short days, 40 teams over two days are going to flood the Country Club. It almost feels like a normal fall. 

Speaking of normal, there is nothing normal in terms of what Angela Coe is doing on the swimming front. The CHS junior is an elite talent. After training overseas for most, if not all, of the summer, she has already broken a school record. Look for her to not only drop more time but also start receiving big-time looks from major swimming programs.

Big things are happening. 

Your teams are competing. 

Enjoy the moment because as COVID cases continue to rise, they could be taken away from us with a snap of a finger.