CARTERVILLE/MARION (WSIL) -- Over the course of a week we have gone from being in tier 3 to phase four and to now getting the Governor's approval for all sports in our region to start play.
The IHSA Board of Directors will meet Wednesday, January 27th to set season dates for the remainder of the school year.
We caught up with local athletic directors, Carterville's Brett Diel and Marion's Ryan Goodisky to get their thoughts and concerns on what's next for local high school sports in our region.
"When you hear that, it's hope," Goodisky said. "You feel like we are making progress and things are getting better. I got my covid shot yesterday and now you get this news. I've always been an optomistic person."
"If you are going to open everything up that's great, now we're working from essentially February 1 to probably June 26," Diel said. How are we going to get them all in. It definitely can be done. I've seen some models that work that don't stack a bunch of sports on top of each other. I don't think any of the small schools or any school for that matter want to see that happen."
"My first thought as an athletic director is, 'oh my goodness, we are going to have tryouts on Monday, what about pysicals' and you've got tryouts on Monday and what if some kids are quarantined right now and can't be there this week?" Goodisky added. "Obviously we're going to be flexible and try to work with these kids and try to make the most of our opportunity."
"We know it's going to be shortened seasons," Diel said. "I'm fine with that, I think kids are fine with that. I think more than anything they want the opportunity to play and in football that is, instead of of playing nine games we are going to play I don't know, five, seven, two, I don't care. I don't think they care either. The opportunity to suit up one more time, get out there and be together and bring a little bit of closure to what has been a tough year is all we can ask for at this time."
"There is obviously going to be some concern about fans," Goodisky said. "Right now the email I got is saying fifty fans and the home team doesn't even have to do that if they don't want to, it is whatever your comfort level is so I think we probably need to discuss that as a conference. I would assume the Black Diamond and (Soutehrn Illinois) River-to-River (Conference) will do the same thing on what they are going to do. When you're talking only fifty fans, off the top of my head I am thinking gosh if every kid on our team gets two tickets, that might be your fifty people right there."
"Just got to be patient, patience, how many times have you heard that being said?" Diel added. "But now we really have to get all the information before we jump out there and make a bunch of decisions, collect the information, go through it, be patient, make sure we do this correctly, finish things off and like I said I think we can have a great experience to close out the year."