Football season has officially begun and as of now, Ridgewood Maroons has played three games total. Due to Covid-19, groups and conferences have changed and teams are playing geographical opponents rather than various teams in the North New Jersey sections. This season, it is inevitable that games will look different than the games of previous years due to the pandemic crisis. The most notable change is the new rule which mandates restricted entry for spectators. Many football players responded to the restricted entry to the football game saying that they cannot feel the energy from the crowd as much as they felt last year when students were allowed to watch the games. To get the full insight, players offered their opinions when asked about this topic, after the Maroons’ third game against Hackensack High School on October 16th.
Dan Caiafa, the starting QuarterBack stated that,
“It is a very weird feeling stepping onto the gridiron and not seeing at least 500 students cheering us on. I’m used to hearing screaming and cheering from the crowd but we don’t really get that anymore. It really brings down my energy when we get a big play or a clutch stop.”
Joe Grasso, the starting Middle Linebacker shared “It is very different because it’s not as loud. We are lucky because our fans who are able to come still bring a lot of energy and as a player we feed off energy. It is different and I can’t wait for the student section next year again.”
Coach Frank, the Ridgewood High School’s trainer said, “Restricted entry to the game changed the event entirely for the football team, and sports overall. Naturally student athletes are creatures of habit, and when things are changed a bit, in the beginning, it may have altered the dynamic, the preparation for their games. However it does feel a little back to normal once they start playing and stuff they get into the routine and it’s a process because this is a transition period.”
In these unpresented times, the Ridgewood community is doing their best to make the most out of the 2020 season. Many are hopeful that football games will spark the return of “normalcy” within the high school’s sports culture. As of now, football games have been very successful and have posed no new health threats to any of the visitors, players, and spectators. Even with the new restrictions it is exciting to see what the future holds as the season progresses.
Thomas Kim & Edward Sohn
Graphic: Talia Hutchinson