No Kedzie Krazies?

How H-F students feel about having no football games this fall.

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Photo by Joe Sullivan

Jotham Israel, Sports Editor

When you think about the things that make the high school experience special, attending the sports events are somewhere at the top of the list. Unfortunately, at least for the fall, that will not be happening.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the IHSA had to unveil a modified sports schedule for all high schools in Illinois on July 29. The schedule clarified which sports will be played at what times, most notably the football season being pushed to the spring and multiple spring sports starting in May when they would usually start in March. The only sports that are having a season this fall are boys and girls golf, girls swimming and diving, girls tennis and boys and girls cross country.

The dance team is prominent for their performances at games during both the football and basketball seasons, but with football being pushed back to the spring and the doubt of having fans at basketball games to perform for in the winter, the team’s only option for the fall is to just practice and get ready for their own competitive season.

“We’re still dancing, so that helps us out a lot. I’m just staying active, even though I can’t do it at the games,” sophomore and second-year varsity sideline dancer Nicole Peterson said.

The team normally has only two seasons: One for the football season in the fall and the other for the basketball games and competitive dancing in the winter, but with them just practicing in the fall, basketball being in the winter and football being in the spring, it is currently unclear if they’ll stretch over to three different seasons so they can potentially perform at the football games.

“It’s really weird for us because it’s not like a normal season. Usually we come in and get to work on dancing for the games, but we’re coming in to practice for basically nothing because we have nothing going on,” Peterson said. “Hopefully we’ll be back to normal next school year so we can have games. I miss the atmosphere. Everyone was just so hype and happy and ready for the games. It’s like an opportunity for everyone in the school to just enjoy themselves together. I just hope they make the right decision.”

It will be a tough decision to make if there were to be a potential reevaluation in the second semester, but it would depend on how much control H-F and the IHSA believe they have over the coronavirus.

Junior Jaiden Miranda, like many other H-F students, is saddened by the postponement of the football season, but he is also hopeful that he will be able to return to the football games in March and April.

“To be honest, it’s kind of a bummer. I really wish we could attend the activities that we normally would attend during the school year, but it is what it is. We just have to push through,” Miranda said. “I’m optimistic because I always got next year. I’m really trusting that everything will be okay. Everything’s in God’s hands.”

While some students remain somewhat optimistic about being able to attend games, other students believe that it is time to focus on their careers and plans after high school.

Ideally, this situation is a tough pill to swallow particularly for the seniors who have one more year of attending these events as students, but one of the seniors, Draco Mays Productions creator Jalen Mays, has directed more of his attention towards his cinematography as opposed to the postponement of the football season.

“This is actually kind of a good thing. I’m watching more videos about photography and videography and I bought brand new equipment earlier this month. If we weren’t in this situation, nine times out of ten I wouldn’t have bought the equipment,” Mays said. “This has pretty much been the best investment of my life. It’s a negative that turned into a positive.”

Mays also acknowledges that experiencing the wrath of the pandemic has been a bad experience and would like for it to be over, but stresses that his top priority is staying safe.

“This whole experience is terrible. We’ve been doing this for six months, and I’ve come to the point where I just don’t care anymore. I just want to get done with high school and wait this coronavirus out,” Mays said. “I want to do social events, but I really don’t care for it anymore because high school is such a small part of my life. Of course I want to hang out with friends, meet new people and do what I do, but if we don’t do it, I’m perfectly fine with that. The main goal is to not contract the virus.”

From athletes to dancers to fans who just enjoy H-F football, having no football in the fall has had a huge impact on everybody involved in the sport. The football season is scheduled to begin on March 5, with the first of three regular season home games scheduled for March 12 against Lockport.

While there could be a chance of having fans in the stands at a limited capacity, neither the atmosphere nor the experience is going to be the same as it was before.

“I miss the school spirit and just being around all of my friends. Being able to chill, watch the game, enjoy the game, get some snacks and appreciate our H-F football team. I feel like there’s a whole vibe to the football games,” Miranda said. “When it starts to get chilly outside, there’s a warmness to being around your friends on the bleachers watching the game. There’s nothing else like it.”