It looks like we may have a high school football season after all. I have not been confident there would be one for at least two months with the pandemic that has dominated our lives since March.
Since I was not sure school would be opened, I was not sure there would be a season. If kids were not able to go to school, I saw a similar situation that happened in March that cancelled the spring sports season.
Add the fact that Ramsey cancelled their practices for a short time because two players had contact with someone who had the virus did not make me more confident. Then Carteret cancelled fall sports, followed by Teaneck, Piscataway, and others – making me less confident. College football teams were cancelling their seasons, including Rutgers.
When it was announced there could be no more than 500 people at an outdoor event, in addition to social distancing, I wondered how people could attend a game. How are members of the band going to sit and take up space in the stands? How about the parents of the players? How about the student bodies? How about school alumni and fans in general?
It seemed to me that too many things could go wrong. How could they have a season or have a full season without interruption?
Last September, I started a new full-time job and have been very busy in a good way. I am very content in a job that is very challenging. Most of all, I am happier professionally than I have been in years.
It’s a good thing because the pandemic has me feeling blah at the same time on a personal level. Being quarantined. Being furloughed/laid off for seven weeks before returning to my job. Having to wear a mask and having to social distance. Not being able to do things I like to do.
My mind has not been on high school football as often. Combine that with the concerns I mentioned in this article and I am not as enthused as I usually am for the upcoming season.
This is why I have not done team previews yet: I did not want to do all the work I do for nothing. My plan is to start in a few days. There will not be as many as I have done in recent years, but I will give it a try. Starting this may get my enthusiasm back and I plan on both attending and covering games starting in October. That may be what I need and I still think high school football is a great experience.
This whole experience reminds me of the strike-shortened seasons the NFL experienced in 1982 and 1987. It was very disappointing to me and both years felt like second-rate seasons. The seasons were disrupted and I fear something like that can happen this year.
After last season, I thought to myself I am 61 years old; I will do it at 62, but I am not sure I will be doing this when I’m 70. I may end up doing it, but the fact I am thinking about it says something. I never thought that way before – maybe I’m changing.
This has been a tough year for all of us. Maybe high school football can improve things. I do hope the season can be completed and I hope so for the players.