Football players mostly optimistic about upcoming season

The 2020-2021 football team is preparing to start the season in the middle of a pandemic. There may be changes, but multiple players feel they will be able to overcome the obstacles and potentially qualify for the playoffs.

Photo courtesy / Mark Cooledge

The 2020-2021 football team is preparing to start the season in the middle of a pandemic. There may be changes, but multiple players feel they will be able to overcome the obstacles and potentially qualify for the playoffs.

Sean Morrison, Editor

When spring football was canceled due to COVID-19 earlier this year, many coaches were worried that their players would not get that chance to prove themselves for the upcoming fall season. The season is planned to start soon, but many uncertainties remain, with COVID-19 still being an issue five months later.

Senior lineman Diego Melendez is confident being successful this season, despite all the questions about how it will pan out.

“I feel like we could do way better than last season when we went 2-8,” Melendez said. “And now that we actually have players that buy into the program, I feel like we could trust each other as teammates and make the least number of mistakes possible.”

Melendez is referring to last season’s 2-8 record (1-4 in league play) in which he played five games, had one solo tackle, and three total tackles, averaging 0.6 tackles per game. He played defensive end, defensive tackle, and offensive lineman.

Melendez has high expectations and is looking to take on a much larger role.

“I for sure expect us to make the playoffs and have a winning record,” Melendez said. “We only play eight games, so I’m expecting to go 6-2.”

He also does not have many concerns that COVID-19 will ruin the season.

“Honestly, I don’t think the season will get canceled because the coaches say that if you get COVID, you will only be out about one or two games, so even if you do get infected, the season has to go on.”

Guidelines are also being put into place to prevent any COVID-19 infections.

“Instead of being grouped together in individual groups, we are more spaced out and have to wear masks during practice,” Melendez said. “And whenever we stretch, we stretch six feet apart.”

The players are also being advised to take caution away from the field.

“The coaches are just telling us to be careful and to avoid any type of large gathering so that we will be able to keep playing and avoid any infections,” Melendez said.

Although Melendez is confident that the season will finish as scheduled, other players such as senior strong safety Jorge de Castro has some concerns.

“To be honest, I think [the season] is going to be kind of tough,” de Castro said. “If anybody gets COVID, they have to leave for two weeks or until they test negative. It’s also going to be hard to stay safe with all the cases going around and it’ll just be tough without any crowd, or even just 50% of the crowd.”

He does believe that there will not be as much pressure due to the absence of a crowd but is interested in seeing how it plays out.

De Castro is worried about getting COVID-19 while playing but also dislikes wearing a mask throughout certain physical activities. Despite these concerns, he also expects a good season.

“I honestly think that we have a pretty good team this year,” de Castro said. “We are all closer together. We have more of a brotherhood between the players, and hopefully, we can make the playoffs.”

De Castro is new to Varsity, having played on junior varsity during the 2019-2020 season. He believes that his passion for the sport will not change in the transition.

“I have this mentality that it’s all good and I just want to play,” de Castro said about the transition. “I feel the same. It’s the same intensity either way and I just want to get back to playing.”

Coronado football kicks off with a neutral-site game against Chapin on Friday, October 2. Kickoff will be at 7:00 p.m. There are still questions about where the COVID-19 situation will be when the season officially starts and how many fans will be allowed to attend.