With the start of school comes the beginning of football games, which are cherished experiences for both players and viewers. This year is a bit different, though, as football has been forced to adapt to their new circumstances under COVID. While it is saddening to exit the fall season without attending a game, football has made the most of their time despite the uncommon schedule and different practices.
The team has been under harsh regulations since beginning practice. This has resulted in a lot of unusual conditions. Originally, they split into two separate groups to accommodate restrictions on gatherings and even forgone the football for contact. To withhold the open air’s added safety, they constructed an outdoor make-shift weight room, too.
The first phase consisted of becoming a team, and the second focused mostly on conditioning, basic training and going over plays.
“It was weird having no ball and being on offense; we couldn’t really do much. It was a lot of just running through our plays, and we had to go over more of the knowledgeable side of the game,” Senior Jacob Scott explained.
The team has since entered phase three of practice, steering away from conditioning and starting to handle the ball again. There is still limited interaction, though. Usually, during summer practices, teams within the district are in constant contact with each other. This year, none is allowed between the schools to reduce risks.
“We’re going to be going into the season a little more blind, but I think it’s a good idea to stay safe like this,” Scott affirmed.
Still, the team has bonded inwards and withheld their sense of community. They often run routes past each other and have become good friends even outside of the sport.
“We are bonding in the sense that we’re all working a little extra hard, and we’re trying to make the most out of this unique year,” Scott described.
Football’s returners are also doing their best to welcome freshmen, even in these new circumstances. Being their first year, the team is showing them what to expect out of their time.
“Personally, I’ve been playing football my entire life, so I kind of know what to expect. The team is really welcoming and everyone’s really nice,” freshman Austin Flynn shared.
The team planned to start in mid-Jan. and continue through mid-April, which is very different from the usual schedule, beginning in Aug. and ending in late Oct. or the beginning of Nov. With recent news from CIF, games have been pushed back again with no clear timeline of when they will begin again. There is no certainty in what these games will look like. Still, players suspect a limited audience of friends and family.
Unfortunately, seniors’ last year has been corrupted by COVID-19. Those on football are disappointed to have an unconventional finish, though they continue to follow both CIF and the governor’s guidelines in hopes to return to normalcy next year. The team as a whole is making the most of their situation.