The number one thing many high schoolers look forward to in the fall is Friday night football, but Covid-19 has changed that for all of us. The Sartell High School football season has been cut in half due to Covid-19 affecting both the fan turnout and many of our senior’s last seasons.
“Get your tickets for the game on Friday!!” a common phrase high schoolers know when it comes to football season. What do you think of when you think of high school? Most people think of late curfews, football games, high school dances, hanging out with friends, and feeling free.
All the players put in the time and effort of practicing every day, even giving up some of the summers to attend camps and practice. They work hard to earn scholarships and win the games throughout the season. The players are not the only ones looking forward to the football season each year. The upcoming ninth graders have been waiting for the moment to be able to stand with the high schoolers in the student section. They have been thinking about getting to scream the chants to cheer on the team and celebrate when we score, and the seniors are having their last season of attending high school football games and getting to chant the cheers one last time.
All of this was snatched away from each one of them this year with the pandemic in play. The football season this year has had a lot of talk around the season and players before the season even started. It was questionable if the teams were even going to be able to play with how much of a contact sport it is.
“Across the country, some parents have waged protests and filed lawsuits to pressure politicians, health officials, and state sports associations to resume competitive fall sports, particularly football. The efforts’ leaders are many of the same parents who have battled schools’ decisions to hold classes online…Sports and school are intertwined,” said David Ruggles, a father of five in suburban Chicago.
He brought a lawsuit this month against the Illinois High School Association in the hopes of restarting football. “Who are we helping by keeping sports closed?” as reported by USA Today.
Many schools across the country including Sartell are fighting to play. Sartell saber parents, students, and players have started a petition called “Let them play.” Many of the town’s players and friends of the players have posted the petition to their social media causing many to sign and send it around even more. The Sartell Public Health and Saftey took it into account. They also allowed students and parents to speak out about the fall sports activities. Sartell High School got passed to play its fall sports season, football is included. The whole school was talking about it and everyone is so excited, but a few changes are being made.
Junior, Jason Hager (#20), plays the inside linebacker position on the JV team for Sartell. He explained how this season will be different from other seasons.
Senior defensive tackle, Carter Swenson (#32) had more to say about the Varsity season: “Varsity has nine games unless you win playoffs then you can go up to twelve or thirteen games.”
When asked about how they are practicing in order to follow Covid safety regulations, Carter explained one of the biggest changes.
Senior Running Back, Ethan Torgrimson, (#29) commented on hows feel about the lack of a fan section this year.
Most of the players felt the same way, they want to play the game they love and if they have supporters they are glad to listen.