Football season is officially back after months of uncertainty and expectations are higher than ever. Those who saw last year’s football games are aware of the notable success of the RHS team. As the world attempts to return to a state of “normalcy,” many are hopeful that the new form of football games will be able to replicate the way it was before. Just like the NFL, high school football will be back in full swing with certain spectator limitations, such as only 500 people attending and wearing masks at all times. Only immediate family members of the players, cheerleaders, and marching band members are allowed as spectators, but the games will be live-streamed online at the National Federation of High School Sports (NFHS).
The new head coach of the Ridgewood High School Football team, David Cord, shared some information about how the new season is going to look like, and how the team is going to react to the change. He addressed that “when the whistle actually blows, it will feel very much like normal football.” To ensure safety for all, he asks anyone who feels symptoms to keep away from practices and games, also, temperature and attendance checks will be required. When asked about how the season is going to be different, Coach Cord mentioned that the only difference in the gameplay is that there will be extra timeouts (since the team had limited practice time) to let athletes stay hydrated and rest.
Obviously, the season is going to feel different to the athletes because there will be no more indoor meetings or locker rooms this year that the team has used for years. In game situations, players who are not in rotation are required to wear masks and be socially distanced from one another.
The players who will take captain positions will be Cameron Smith(TE), Ryder Langsdale(T), Sean Emmanuel(FB), Liam Lennon(HB), Colin Feeney(HB), and Edward Chanod(HB). These captains were nominated by the players themselves and have been awarded these positions based on their evident leadership qualities.
Furthermore, the absence of Coach Johnson will in no doubt spark changes in the Ridgewood football community. Coach Cord states that he will try to keep this season as consistent as last year in order to carry on Coach Johnson’s legacy. Although the future amidst this global pandemic is unknown and many athletes are unaware of how this will affect their playing careers, the reality that football games are able to occur, regardless of limitations and rules, brings a sense of comfort to both the players and the town knowing that normalcy may be on the horizon.
Thomas Kim & Edward Sohn
Graphic: RHS Football