MHS, CHS to meet again at Coles County Clash
The Mattoon Green Wave and the Charleston Trojans will face off again on the football field during the second annual Coles County Clash Sept. 27 at Eastern Illinois University’s O’Brien Stadium.
The game begins at 7 p.m., however, the tailgating festivities begin at 5 p.m., and tickets will be sold at that time. Tailgating is located in the grassy area south and west of the stadium. As a reminder, no alcohol permitted per IHSA rules. The EIU police will patrol the area.
The west parking lot opens at 5 p.m., and the stadium will begin allowing fans inside at 6 p.m.
In case of inclement weather, the game will be played the next night at Charleston High School since they are this year’s home team.
All tickets are $5 per ticket and seating is general admission. Other season passes are not recognized for this game. Advance tickets may be purchased at the following locations: Mattoon High School Athletic office from 7:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., at the Mattoon versus Mt. Zion football game at Gaines Field Sept. 20, Charleston High School’s main office and at the CHS home football game Sept. 20 versus Effingham, First Mid-Illinois Bank and Trust, Pilson Auto, K.C. Summers, Diepholz Auto and Wave Graphics.
The corporate sponsors include First Mid-Illinois, $10,000; Pilson Auto, $5,000, K.C. Summers, $5,000 and Diepholz Auto, $2,500.
Mattoon and Charleston will get 40 percent (20 percent each) of the total concessions sold; 100 percent (50 percent each) of the gate receipts and corporate sponsorships.
Proceeds from the event are earmarked to the schools’ sports booster clubs and athletic departments.
“We appreciate the support from our corporate sponsors and the community,” said Dave Vieth, athletic director, MHS. “Their financial assistance allows the existence of a major sporting event such as the Coles County Clash to occur.”
“Their generosity along with ticket sales helped Mattoon High School install new lighting at our track and field facility this summer,” Vieth added. “The Booster Club provided funding for a new sound system.”
Without this financial support, improvements to sports facilities may have been delayed for several more years, Vieth said.
“It’s exciting that a longtime rivalry between Charleston and Mattoon can yield such positive results not only for our school districts but in the behavior and sportsmanship displayed at last year’s game,” said Vieth.
Jim Wood, athletic director, Charleston school district, is pleased with the response from the sponsors and the community.
“The Coles County Clash is a great event because it brings two very competitive teams together on the field as well as bringing the community together to cheer on those teams,” said Wood. “The financial backing from the sponsors has really helped make this event a reality and the funds from this event have assisted our school district in many ways.”
Mattoon School Superintendent Larry Lilly said he and other school officials were impressed with the number of fans who attended last year’s game. Many of the diehard fans stayed through the rain and the fog. Lilly is hopeful even more fans attend this year’s game.
“We’ve had a number of people since the ending of last year’s inaugural game who have been enthusiastically talking about this year’s game,” said Lilly.
Although the Coles County Clash is mostly focused on football, Lilly said the event offers more than just a competitive game between Charleston and Mattoon.
“The Coles County Clash is a great opportunity to showcase the talents of our students and this includes those playing in the game, our cheer and dance teams, those performing in the bands, and MHS Team Massive cheering from the sidelines.”
Although there is a long-standing rivalry between the two schools, Jim Littleford, Charleston school superintendent, was impressed with the sportsmanship and the camaraderie shown among athletes as well as fans at O’Brien Stadium at last year’s event. The rain and game delay posed challenges but everyone cooperated and made the event very successful, he added.
“I am hoping for even a more successful Coles County Clash this year, and I am looking forward to watching a great football game,” said Littleford.
Littleford and Lilly both thanked EIU for all their assistance and input. Both agreed the facilities at EIU are top tier, and it’s been great being able to have their support in launching and housing an event of this size.
Mattoon and Charleston bands will perform the National Anthem. Each band will have a separate field show at halftime.
Both schools’ dance teams will perform together at halftime.
The main grandstand stadium seating on the west side will be divided down the middle. The small east side bleachers will be used for overflow. Mattoon is the visiting team, and Charleston is the home team.
Mattoon and Charleston have the same grandstand assignments as last year. Mattoon will sit on the north end of the main grandstand in sections E, F, and G. Charleston will sit on the south end of the main grandstand in sections A, B, and C.
Section D will be divided down the middle with Mattoon on the north and Charleston on the south.
Mattoon student section will be the lower part of section F, and the band will be seated behind the students in section F. Overflow students will be seated in the lower section of section G.
Mattoon cheerleaders will be positioned on the track in front of sections E, F, and G.
Charleston student section will be the lower part of section B, and the band will be seated behind the student s in section B. Overflow students will be seated in the lower section of section A.
Charleston cheerleaders will be positioned on the track in front of sections A, B, and C.
A Mattoon banner will be hung over sections E, F, and G. A Charleston banner will be hung over sections A, B, and C.
For those fans who can’t attend the game, the game will be broadcast on radio stations WMCI and WRJM. The game will not be televised because of NCAA rules.