Delay of Game: Football Team Stays Motivated Despite Season Shift


Kernan Lynch, Staff Writer

Many high school sports across the state of Illinois have had to revise their sports seasons due to COVID-19, but high school football has changed drastically.

After a lengthy quarantine period with no practice, the football team went into day one of summer camp on July 11 thinking their season was just getting started.

They got through two weeks of practice while following the guidelines to keep everybody safe. They had to social distance, they couldn’t tackle, and they had to wear masks during check-ins and meetings. In addition, they couldn’t use footballs or pads. 

“Summer camp did not feel like normal summer camp,” said senior Jack Shea. “Although, It didn’t stop us from doing what we could. We still did drills without footballs, and conditioned as much as we could.” 

They thought all was going well for what they had, but something was about to change. 

On July 29, the Illinois High School Association announced that they were going to be moving the high school football season to February and stopping practice until further notice. When the players heard this news, there was nothing but distraught feelings. 

“I was very frustrated that we don’t get to play in the fall,” said senior Jackson Pearre. “But then I realized we get even more time to get mentally and physically prepared for the season both inside and outside of practice.” 

The seniors, who were anticipating their last season on the team, wanted nothing more than to be playing under the lights this fall. They want their one last shot at the state title. They want that record-breaking season. All they can do now is take advantage of the preparation offered by the season’s delay. 

Moving the football season to February was an unprecedented change, but it didn’t stop the team’s commitment. After being asked what the team’s first thought of the change was, senior Mac Uihlein responded: “Time to get back to work.”

Not only does the involvement of football make you a part of a team, it also makes you a part of a family. During the time where they couldn’t practice, every single football player held each other accountable to stay in shape. 

Whether it was working out in a home gym, going on a run, or running routes at South Park, they all did what they could to better themselves during these times of uncertainty. 

“I still feel the same,” said senior Alex Pasinato. “There’s nothing I want more than to be with the team.”

To stay connected, they had small gatherings while following social distancing guidelines. They kept a nearly fifteen-year tradition going by getting mohawks on the Thursday before what would have been their first game.

Recently, the football team was cleared to practice again, although, with no pads and or footballs. To them, football doesn’t feel like football, but they are just happy to be on the field again.

Currently, there is no official schedule set for the season. Nevertheless, it is certain that the Scouts and fans will be ready to cheer on the football team on every play of every drive when February arrives.

“I dislike how it won’t be the same environment as it normally would be in the fall,” said Pearre. “But I like that it’s something new and that it won’t change our mindset of winning every single game.”