Unique football season comes to an end
The football season for the 2020-2021 school year has come and gone. Considering overall changes and setbacks in light of the pandemic, this season was different, but the coaches and players were just glad to have a chance to play, especially seniors wearing their jerseys for the last time.
This whirlwind season started on March 3 and concluded on April 23. Games took place on Saturdays and had limited seating to follow COVID-19 guidelines. Players and coaches wore masks on the sidelines and whenever possible. Due to the season being pushed back, they were unable to conduct in-person camps and practices for long periods of time prior to their first game.
“The season was stressful at times. It was a very odd scenario of playing in the spring during multiple seasons. I’m not sure if that will ever happen again. It was filled with lots of fun, and I’m glad we were able to play,” Coach Jonathon Janus said.
This season came up quite suddenly, and the team had to pull everything together very quickly. Coach Anthony Donatucci said, “This was, ‘Yes, we are having a season and get prepared for it.’ The kids were really excited about getting an opportunity to play.”
When players were faced with these sudden changes, they were up for the challenge. As the season began, Connor Ahrendt, ‘22, said, “The season has started rough, but we are growing as a team and things are starting to look better for us.”
The team ended their season with two wins and four losses. Donatucci said, “Our best game was our last game against Elk Grove. It was a fun, exciting game where our sideline was electric and our seniors were giving it all on their last game. It was a battle from the opening kickoff until the final kneel in our victory formation. When the game was over, it was nice to see our Conant Football players hug, laugh, and take pictures together one last time after the victory.”
Looking forward to next year, there’s hope for a somewhat normal schedule and season. “We have some really great underclassmen that have grown so much that we are excited to see out in the field,” Donatucci said.
Head Coach Bryan Stortz said, “It would be great to be playing football under the Friday Night Lights on a cool fall evening as the leaves are changing colors in front of the Cougar Crazies with the band blaring the school fight song while the cheerleaders, color guard, and charrelles show off their school spirit!”
Janus also looks forward to next year. “We are looking forward to a consistent season and a great new group of seniors to reestablish Conant Football culture to a top tier program.”