ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The shortest offseason in high school football history has come to a close as teams were back out on the field Monday for the first day of practice.
Just over three months ago, sectionals wrapped up for the high-risk fall sports of football, volleyball, and competitive cheerleading.
Now, they’re back out on the field with a little bit warmer weather than the snow flurries that greeted them for March practices last year.
“For me I love it, I love football,” said UPrep senior wide receiver Jordan Jackson. “Whenever I can play, I’ll be glad to. It’s really not that uncomfortable to me.”
“You just were with each other. Everything isn’t going to be too awkward,” said UPrep senior quarterback Clyde Davis Jr. “Everything should be pretty easy, we snap back into everything pretty fast.”
UPrep head coach Isiah Young says there will be an adjustment with a rushed offseason and his players going through the grind of a season so quickly. But he’s optimistic there will be no increase in injuries and his team will be able to hit the ground running.
“Hopefully, the guys that are returning, a lot of this should be review and kind of fresh in their mind being that we finished end of April,” said Young. “That’s what you hope for but you know we won’t know again for a few days and see what we’ve got.”
On the schedule this year is a full sectional tournament ending with state tournaments for the first time since the fall of 2019.
That’s especially good news for the Griffins, who missed out on the four-team condensed sectional playoffs last year thanks to tiebreakers, despite finishing with a 5-1 record.
“I definitely felt the way the season was done last year was kind of unfair to us with us being left out of playoffs. But we can’t do anything about that, we’re looking at the future now,” said Jackson, who just recently committed to play Division I football at Central Connecticut State. “We can’t wait to take it one game at a time, see how the chips fall.”
“We feel like we didn’t have a fair chance, but this year should definitely be better, give us a better chance of making the playoffs and compete for a sectional championship,” said Davis Jr.
“Those were the rules of the time and that was the hand we were dealt,” said Young. “I know they definitely have a little more motivation to prove that last year and the year before that wasn’t a fluke.”
UPrep will take on Penfield to open the season on Friday, September 3rd, the only team to beat them last season.