Edwardsville head football coach Matt Martin. (Photo by Dan Brannan)

EDWARDSVILLE - Edwardsville head football coach Matt Martin is ecstatic that there will be a football season this school year.

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The IHSA this week moved football from a fall to spring schedule with various restrictions. The entire school sports seasons remain in a state of possible change, but for now that is the plan.

Area football coaches reacted mostly positive to the Illinois High School Association's announcement on Wednesday that the season will be moved to the spring as part of the IHSA's plan to play each sporting season during the 2020-21 school year.

The plan, which was submitted to the Illinois Department of Public Health for final approval after its ratification by the IHSA Board of Directors, moves football to the spring season, along with boys soccer, girls volleyball, girls badminton, boys gymnastics and boys and girls water polo, with the season to be conducted from Feb. 15-May 1. Four sports will remain in the fall: Girls tennis, boys and girls golf, boys and girls cross country and girls swimming and diving. The fall season begins Aug. 10, and continues until Oct. 24.

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"It's better than no season," Martin said. "I think there will be some issues, but we'll make the adjustments as they come."

One of those issues involves scheduling. The IHSA has limited member schools to conference play and to opponents in their immediate geographical areas, to reduce travel. State tournament series decisions will also be made on a sport-by-sport basis, with the intent to allow teams to compete for IHSA championships.

"We're gonna have to work on that right away," Martin said about the scheduling rules. "Hopefully, there will be some schools in the same situation, and we're going to have to cancel some games, but we'll see what we can work out."

At this point, it's not so much about the quality of a potential opponent, but getting the schedule filled to the current nine games, including the always tough Southwestern Conference schedule.

"I don't know if it's about quality, but with the regional parameters, we've got to find some opponents," Martin said.

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Dan Brannan also contributed to this story

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