A hectic start to the football season


Photo Courtesy of David Gardner

After being named captains for the 2021 football season, WJ players Anthony Villacis, Danny Ticktin, Will Gardner and Chris Ramirez gather to take a photo. They will serve as captains for the shortened two game season.

Roughly four weeks into the football season (since practices started),it’s already had quite the turbulent start between the county second guessing and then reaffirming their decision to have games and the first contest of the season against Whitman being canceled due to COVID problems within the Vikings’ program.
This misfortune continued when the team attempted to schedule a scrimmage versus Gaithersburg in place of the Whitman game for Friday, March 26, only to get a positive test of their own the morning of the scrimmage forcing them to cancel the game.

This test came as an unfortunate surprise to both coaches and players, stifling their growing anticipation to get back onto the field only an hour before players were to report to the team. After the counties reinstatement of their decision to allow games to be played, many players felt encouraged to have made it past the one of the biggest obstacles standing in front of them, but instead escaped the frying pan only to be tossed into the fire.

“A lot of disappointment is going around the team about not being able to play, but at the same time we’re just going to continue to move forward and get ready for next week,” senior David Gardner said.

Players and fans alike are anxious for the return of contact sports, especially because it was so nearly taken away from them. However, nervousness still is clouding many’s vision of the future, and with good reason after the past couple weeks.

“The theme of this year is uncertainty. I won’t be sure we’re having a game or practice until I’m on the field in my helmet and pads, getting ready for kickoff,” senior Arun Sen said.

Players can only do what they can to stay safe and hope that everyone else on the team does the same at this point. Seniors hope to have a safe last two games to round out their high school careers. A handful of those in grade levels below wish to have these games not only to be able to get their season in, but to help in the recruitment process which may dictate their future. Many other counties have allowed their players this chance already, and WJ players don’t want to miss out on what rewards the season might present, both tangible and intangible.

“We’ve been struggling for months trying to get this season. Every other season was given the green light except for us,” Gardner said. “We lost one of our games in the process, but at least we’re going to have something.”