The Return to the Gridiron

Eric Armstrong

Fear and anxiety were the words used by the Shenandoah University football team, not knowing if they were going to be able to play this spring due to COVID-19.

They did not know what to expect, while playing everything by ear.

“It was definitely nerve-racking and scary,” said senior linebacker Jason Euman. He went on to explain how football was an escape from the world for him and his teammates. As a senior, this was not how he wanted his football story to end. 

And luckily it’s not.

The Hornets have completed two games, and although they are 0-2, sophomore cornerback Isaish Nichols said that, “This is a totally different year, but I’m glad we are able to compete.”

As this was not the start they thought of, the Shenandoah football team is still grateful for the opportunity to play.

“I’m soaking it all in and enjoying every moment knowing that it’s almost over,” Euman said.

An Unusual Season

It was not until early December that the Shenandoah football team announced they will have a shortened season with only four games, and with a few changes involved. With this being the first season for the Hornets post-COVID-19, there were many new rules set on and off the field, such as extended sidelines, the chain crew has to remain on the home side, both teams have to bring their own ball boys, only 15 people are allowed to change in the locker room at a time, and also teams are not allowed to go in the locker room at halftime. 

Although having to be tested for COVID-19 weekly and following certain protocols while practicing, nothing held Shenandoah’s football team back from putting in their all. 

“I just look forward to putting our best foot forward,” said defensive line coach Kalvin Oliver before the season started. Even with the season not going as planned, coach Byron Mitchell went on to say, “It’s been a long time waiting, and I cannot wait to see the guys compete at a high level.” Coach Brock McCullough agreed.

Categories: Sports

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