As if not having the first day of football practice last Tuesday wasn’t bad enough, Kade Allen instead had to go to work.
The North senior wide receiver/linebacker was getting ready for his job at Pine Hills Country Club at 3:30, the same time Day 1 of the football season was supposed to begin.
“My attitude going in was just not the best, because I just wanted to be at football practice,” Allen said. “I didn’t want to be at work, I didn’t want to be anywhere but practicing and getting ready for the season.
“The only thing we can really do is keep being optimistic and hope that we’ll be able to have a season.”
Football was the first fall sport that was scheduled to start, but the WIAA delayed practice until Sept. 7.
So last Tuesday was an unusual day for teams all across the state, including Golden Raiders’ coach Joe O’Brien.
“It was the first time in 20 years I didn’t have a football practice in August,” he said. “I am a counselor by day and we have had registration, so I usually miss out on some of that fun for football practice. Not this year.”
The co-op team of Kohler/Christian/Lutheran was supposed to hold practice in the afternoon last Tuesday, but instead some of the players gathered for workouts.
“It kind of sucks because I was really looking forward to starting practice and we just finished our contact days, so now we’ve got to wait a month to start doing actual football,” Christian junior wide receiver/linebacker Justin Hendrikse said. “Instead, now we just have workouts, run and stuff. I just want to get back to normal and start our season, get going into actual games.”
Teammate Matt Stephany, a junior running back/linebacker at Lutheran, was also lifting weights that day with the team instead of practicing.
“It was kind of weird and kind of frustrating to know that you have to still wait longer,” Stephany said. “In the grand scheme when you look at it, it just gives you more time to prepare for the season.”
But what if it turns out there will not be a season because of the ongoing pandemic?
“Personally, I don’t like to think about the possibility of us not having a season,” Allen said.
Hendrikse says he’s praying there is one, especially since he missed pretty much all of last season with an injury. He’s also a member of his school’s golf team, and that spring sport was cancelled, too.
“This would be a lot worse, because football is probably my favorite sport and I missed all of last year with a broken arm from the first game,” Hendrikse said. “I’d hate if we had to miss another whole season.”