On Monday, Teutopolis High School announced it would be joining the Apollo Conference for the 2020-21 academic year only.

“I kind of had a feeling that, following what colleges were doing, they were only going to be able to play their conferences, so I figured we would be in trouble at that point,” said Teutopolis athletic director Laurie Thompson. “You start looking at the conferences around you and some of them had 10 or 11 teams, which could be their entire schedule.

“I did reach out to a couple of different conferences. The National Trail Conference was one, but that’s a big conference already and thought they could fill all of their spots up with just their games.”

The restrictions set forth by the Illinois High School Association in regards to COVID-19 would have made it difficult for an independent school like Teutopolis to schedule any type of games.

“I approached the Apollo because they only have seven teams and I figured we could be No. 8,” Thompson said. “In a lot of our schedules, we do play many of those teams besides Lincoln. I reached out first thing Thursday, they had a meeting to talk about it and basically went very smoothly.We just had to go through the proper channels with the athletic directors and superintendents.

“I’m very thankful. Optimistically I thought I could find 15 games, but then at some point I thought I didn’t know if I could find five games. I think the Apollo will be very competitive for us. I just wanted opportunities for athletes to be able to play games, and this was the best way I thought it could happen.”

Teutopolis will not participate in wrestling or football, as the other member teams of the Apollo do.

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