By Dominic Baima

I have had the pleasure of photographing our local students this past year and have to say it has been a fun year watching all of the talent from Charleston and Mattoon. Here are some of my favorite photos and moments from 2021.


The first would have to be this shot (above) from the Coles County Clash. I always love a good celebration shot, but the Clash does give a sort of State Championship vibe with a very palpable energy in the stands and on the sidelines.


The second would be the CHS baseball win against Highland. This celebration took place after an exciting catch at the fence to keep Highland from scoring three runs.

Charleston’s Ty Coartney (45) gives Caydin Reed a body high-five after the center fielder ran down a line drive that prevented three runs from scoring on June 7, 2021.


Third would be the Track & Field State Finals where Megan Garrett competed in the 800-meter run. This was my first time photographing the State Finals and the level of competition was impressive, especially considering the June Illinois heat.

Charleston’s Megan Garrett kicked in during the final 300 meters to finish fifth in the 800 at the IHSA Class 3A state track and field championships held at EIU’s O’Brien Stadium on June 11, 2021.

Please donate to help support our local coverage. We are a not-for-profit 501c3. You can read more and donate here. Thanks for considering this gift.


Fourth is the Mattoon Girls Basketball win over Mahomet-Seymour to claim the 42nd Annual MHS Holiday Tournament on Wednesday night. I really enjoy basketball games that are close and when either team can walk away with the win. That was definitely the case with these two very talented teams.

The Mattoon Girls Basketball Team hoists the tournament trophy on Wednesday after defeating Mahomet-Seymour to become the champions of the 42nd Annual MHS Holiday Tournament on December 29, 2021.


Fifth is the Charleston High boys’ 42-41 basketball victory over Mahomet-Seymour. As I’ve already mentioned, I really enjoy games that are close. This game did not disappoint.

William Applegate shoots a basket during Charleston’s 42-41 win over Mahomet-Seymour at Baker Gym on December 7, 2021.


Finally, I would like to add as someone who is relatively new to this community that the amount of school spirit in the student section is something I’ve never seen before. The enthusiasm and chants from the local students adds another level of excitement to the game.

Thank you for allowing me to document the athletic success of these amazing local athletes. I cannot wait to see what success they have in 2022. All of my photos are available to purchase as high-resolution downloads or prints at my website