PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD/WYZZ) — Jared Grebner has been waiting a long time for his shot at coaching the Metamora Redbirds.

He was a Metamora football assistant coach 18 years before he was named the head coach in March. But with the high school football season moved to the spring, the Grebner will have to wait a little longer to coach his Alma mater.

“It is a delay,” Grebner said. “But with all the other coaches, we’ve had great communication. And most importantly, the players have been great leaders for one another.”

Every prep football coach in the state is thankful the season is only delayed and not canceled. Now they’re trying to keep their players motivated for a season that will kick off months from now instead of in a few weeks.

“If you’re one of those guys that’s a senior and you’re truing to go on and play college ball, you just got four months to get bigger and stronger,” said Washington coach Darrell Crouch.

The timetable of the season is all new for high school football this school year. There will be limited practice this fall time in September and October.

Preseason practice will start in February right before the schedule is expected to kickoff in March. The Illinois High School Association’s plan is to have a six-or-seven week regular season with a a short playoffs.

That means high school football during the rainy periods of March and April.

“It’s going to be wet and rainy and cold the whole time,” said Normal Community head coach Jason Drengwitz. “But it doesn’t matter to me. They could tell us we’re going to play in December or January. We’ll deal with whatever circumstances are in play.”

Friday night football won’t happen in the fall. It will be a different kind of March Madness.

“It will be different. The weather is different,” Grebner said. “I don’t know what or if old Malone (Field) will be as green as it usually is in the fall. Hey, we’re just excited to have a season.”

Even if it means waiting another few months.