ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Typically on the first day of high school football training camp it’s about 85 degrees, the sun is beating down, and players would be sweating just standing around.
However on Monday, it was below freezing, there were snowbanks on the ground, and the wind was whipping at your face if it wasn’t covered by a mask.
It’s all part of a one-of-a-kind football season that everyone is so happy to be finally here.
“I feel bad for anybody who can’t feel how we feel right now,” said Brighton senior lineman Justice James. “I feel incredible.”
It’s a feeling that many around Section V never thought they were going to get.
“With the COVID and everything going on I didn’t think we were really going to have a season,” said East senior running back Yasirr Daniel. “But I’m just glad to be out here, my senior year.”
James figured he’d put his pads on for the very last time after the fall season was postponed.
“It broke my heart,” said James. “At first, I was like it’s a little unfair. But I understand and we’re out here now.”
His head coach Stephen Lian was up at 2:30 a.m. with excitement and says that the season finally being here is great for his players’ mental health.
“For a long time we’re trying to keep them engaged by saying we could have a season, we’ve got to get involved and it’s been hard,” said Lian. “But when it’s finally been green-lit and this is actually a tangible thing to be able to hook kids back into, the lift that it gave everybody was tremendous.”
At East, they’re ready to try and get and get back to the sectional title game after last year’s loss. But first, they’re glad to be back.
“You can’t take it for granted. It can get taken away from you just like that, we learned that last year,” said East head coach James Vann. We just want to live in the moment and enjoy being around each other.
After just under three weeks of practice, games will begin on Friday, March 19th that will begin a condensed schedule that will end with Sectionals by May 2nd.
It’s a condensed schedule that the players will savor every single minute of.