METAMORA (HOI) -- With the coronavirus pandemic still on going, Friday night football has to wait until the spring. Meaning new head coaches, such as Metamora's Jared Grebner have to wait to take their new spot on the sidelines.
It's the first time in 30 years the Metamora Redbirds have a new head coach manning the sidelines, following the retirement of legendary coach Pat Ryan. It's the dream job for Jared Grebner, a Metamora native, but as the new man in charge, he's already facing something none of his predecessors had to, a nation-wide pandemic.
"It's definitely a challenge, first starting at the beginning of the summer, not being able to meet all the athletes. Then meeting with the athletes in July and getting some possible changes as we go along," said Grebner.
One thing that does make life easier for him, he's a Metamora alum and has experience as the school's defensive coordinator for a number of years.
"Being familiar with the rest of the coaches, with the administration, with the town in general, with the athletes previously is definitely an advantage," explained Grebner.
The players have confidence in him and don't expect to miss a beat when they get to play.
"It's a little bit of an adjustment, Coach Ryan is gone, but Coach Grebner is gonna do a great job, he's stepping into his shoes and he can fill them perfectly I think," said Metamora Senior Tight End/Linebacker, Ryne Begole.
While Grebner and his team will have to wait until March to take the field, the anticipation is already building.
"We've been looking forward to this first game for a long time now, we wish it would have been a couple weeks ago, but we'll wait until this March and keep trying to work on things and get better every day," said Grebner.
"Honestly I'm just glad we have a season at this point, there was a lot of fear about not having a season so it's just great to have a season, something to look forward to, something to work towards," continued Begole.
The Illinois High School Association (IHSA) has allowed for teams to have 20 contact days starting this week through the end of October. Grebner says they'll be using their first contact day on Wednesday.