Friday, September 11 should have been the first Friday night of the 2020 high school football season in New York.
Rick Gause, Bishop Kearney head football coach, felt it was bittersweet to not be getting ready for his season opener, but was glad to have received answers from the New York State Public High School Athletic Association about returning to play.
“Right now, I should be on the football field,” said Gause. “I should be lining up, getting the team ready, coaching staff ready, in meetings and we’re not.”
Instead, Football Frenzy will have to wait until March, per the NYSPHSAA’s decision to delay high-risk fall sports. When Kearney’s sophomore quarterback Azavier Ross learned the news on Wednesday, he was excited to have some more time to prepare.
“The timing was good because a season starting September 21 would have been too short,” said Ross. “I’m taking this weekend to prepare, train, study the playbook, work on our chemistry to be ready when we can get out there and practice.”
Gause has led Zooms with his players and coaching staff this summer, just like high school football coaches around the country. It is a different approach, but it keeps his team connected.
“It’s a morale thing,” Gause explained. “The guys are used to playing right now, and we’re going to be rallying our guys together, letting them know what they can do.”
Once they hit the field again, Ross is confident his teammates will be ready for a strong season.
“I’m gonna come in and tell the guys ‘listen man we’re here, we’ve been waiting all summer for this’ and we’re going to give it everything we got.”