High school football is arguably the most fun sport out of all high school sports. There are many reasons why there are millions of kids that love to play football and millions of grown men that love to coach football. At the start of 2020, the millions of kids and grown men that love football would’ve never thought that the 2020 high school football season would be canceled due to a pandemic.
While some U.S. states were given the OK to be able to continue their high school football season, including all of Illinois’ bordering states, Governor J.B. Pritzker will not allow Illinois high school football to run this season, although football teams are allowed to practice in a safe manner until they are allowed to officially play in February.
Newly hired head coach Chris Bazant commented on how different football is for him, saying “I think that is going to be a big difference. I think it’s important to know that everything we used to do in the past is not the same. Practices are different, breaking down the huddle is different, we’re still adjusting to it too. It will definitely change the way things are done.”
I also asked junior quarterback Sammy Renc the same question. His response was “I hate that the season got pushed back. It gets me mad just seeing people play and me not being able to play aggravates me. But we have to do what is right and safe for our team.”
Both Bazant and Renc know that safety comes first for this whole situation. That’s been the main message since the beginning of March when this whole mess started, which is why all the gyms and fields were closed down for a long period of time. The players were not able to lift and improve their game on the field.
When asked about this, Bazant stated “Were providing resources to get players to workout again. It’s going to affect a lot of stuff as a team. Looking at coronavirus, it does stink that we’re not together, but as an individual player, it’s a good time to improve, try to be a better player coming into next season. We will find out who is really invested and who isn’t invested. This will increase growth. At times like this, adversity, it’s an opportunity for us to get stronger as individuals and as a team.” Well stated by coach Bazant as he explains that if players want to get better, they will.
His quarterback also has the same mindset, saying “We have to come together as a group and get together on our own time to make sure no one is falling behind. I want everyone to be ready for next season. I am working on QB drills, focusing on myself and my work because I don’t want anyone stopping me from what I want to do this year.” Sammy is a prime example of what Bazant wants to see from his team leader.
While Bazant is able to put his trust in his new QB, his new QB spoke about how the feelings are mutual between him and coach, saying “I trust Bazant with everything. He is going to be ALL IN for this season and the future of this team. He is going to do anything possible to put us in a winning position.” It’s great to know that a new coach already has players who believe in him and what he can do.
Of course, this will be new for Bazant as taking a varsity head coaching position while being a teacher only means more work on his plate, but he is certainly up for the challenge, saying “It’s going to be a lot different. Teachers are still learning new stuff with technology. As a teacher and as a coach with 4 kids at home, I have to make sure I give attention to all aspects of my life. We have a great staff and they help me out a lot balancing all of this out. I have to make sure I have to stay organized and take care of both as well as be a father to my family.”
A lot of stuff has changed since the coronavirus hit, but not the focus of head coach Chris Bazant and quarterback Sammy Renc. Improving as a team and winning is the priority for these two football wise. Coach, QB and the rest of the team cannot wait to get back onto the field and go to battle for our school.