After months of uncertainty, high school football will officially return to the Silicon Valley. Governor Gavin Newsom gave the green light statewide on Feb. 19. While Santa Clara County previously enacted stricter rules than the state as a whole, the county has now decided to go along with state guidelines.
That means Wilcox, Santa Clara and Fremont High Schools will be back in action come mid-March. Wilcox has scheduled a scrimmage with St. Francis on the thirteenth, with all the schools beginning a shortened five-game season the following week. As one can imagine, the local football players are ecstatic to get back to the game they love.
“All year it’s been a process of getting ready but then getting shut down, but now we got the good news that it’s actually gonna happen and we have hope again,” remarked Fremont offensive and defensive tackle Nico Massey. “A lot of people’s identities and what they really enjoy is the football season and when you don’t get that, and school is online it can all be really tough. So, it’s really nice to have a senior season. Even just a half season, much better than nothing.”
“We all found out about it on Friday and it was super exciting because none of us really expected to have a season this year,” admitted Bruins quarterback Aiden Rangle. “As a junior I want to get the most I can out of this year, but if I were a senior I would be very, very happy about getting a season. I probably would have been extremely sad thinking I wouldn’t get a season for my senior year.”
“My initial reaction, honestly I was just excited to hear something,” added Wilcox senior lineman Diego Garcia. “For months and months there was just nothing, nothing being said about anything. To hear that we are going to have a five-game season is extraordinary and exciting.”
Given the lack of consistent and clear communication coming down from the state and the fact Santa Clara County has been extra strict, there were widespread doubts among local coaches and athletic directors that a season would be played at all. Over the last few months coaches understandably didn’t want to go on record with their doubts, but now that the season is happening, they are willing to admit their complete lack of confidence that a season was going to happen.
“No, I thought there was no chance,” chuckled Wilcox Head Coach Paul Rosa. “I can admit that now. The [COVID-19] numbers dropped dramatically right at the right time and I didn’t foresee that coming.”
“I didn’t think we had a chance,” echoed Santa Clara Head Coach Burt Codera. “It was a roller coaster. One day we are going and the next day we get shut down. Then we get going again, things are opening up, COVID numbers are dropping and boom shut down again. So, I for sure didn’t see us playing, especially before coming back to any type of school.”