High school football teams starting to practice, still awaiting final word on fall season

Coronavirus

BRUNSWICK, Ohio (WJW) — It’s game on for now for high school football teams across Northeast Ohio.  

“Hey, stay six feet,” said one Brunswick High School senior.

The sights and sounds of the game in 2020 are very different. 

“It is nothing like any of us experienced before,” said senior running back Nick Vadini.

The Brunswick Blue Devils are just a handful of days into the fall season but already they are game-ready for their toughest opponent of the year, an opponent that is not even on their schedule, COVID-19. 

“As each day goes on, I become more and more confident,” said head coach Mark Pinzone.

The Blue Devils are adjusting to a new norm of getting their temperatures taken before they practice, sanitizing equipment, wearing masks, washing their hands and social distancing. 

“It’s something you have to do though, if everyone wants to play,” said senior wide receiver Jacob Dye.

“I mean it’s a little extra, but if you want to play this sport, you have to give a little bit,” added senior linebacker Quintyn McKinley.

The Blue Devils are one of the few teams in the Greater Cleveland Conference that are on the field preparing for a football season. Some of their opponents have had their practices suspended indefinitely due to COVID-19.   

“I’m very excited, I love this sport and not every school has this opportunity I know,” McKinley said.

With the high school football season in limbo, the message here in Brunswick is simple, treat each day like it’s the last because tomorrow is not guaranteed.

“We treat everything like it is our last rep, it’s our last practice, it’s our last time out here together,” Dye said.

There is a risk that comes with playing during a pandemic and these players are aware of that, but they believe a season can happen and they can do it safely.

The Governor DeWine’s office and the Ohio Department of Health have not given the clearance for high school football teams to compete this fall, a decision will likely come in the next few weeks.  

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