WOBURN, Mass. — In the dead of winter, high school football teams across the state will get a chance to finally return to the field.
On Friday, the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association, or MIAA, voted to allow specific sports to play their Fall seasons beginning Feb. 22.
“We want to play in the snow,” explained Symon Sathler, a running back at Woburn High School. “We literally want to play in Massachusetts winter.”
For Sathler and his other senior teammates, snow and cold temperatures don’t seem to matter.
It’s the touchdown decision they’ve been waiting for.
“The small glimmer of hope paid off that we’re finally going to be able to show off all of the hard work that we’ve had for the past 4 years,” said Jaden Simonds, quarterback at Woburn High School. “Get one final ride with these guys.”
“We’re just lucky to be out here, and we’ve been waiting for this,” added wide receiver Danny Coveno.
The MIAA ruling comes with a number of COVID-19 modifications, and the season will not be in full.
Some of those modifications include no handshakes, discouragement of team huddles, and players will avoid the locker room and instead, run to the playing field from their cars.
However, for athletes who had their Fall seasons cancelled, it still means playing together one last time.
“We’re just so close knit, we’re like brothers and just to be out there one more time just means so much to me. And I know it would mean so much to these guys,” said Sathler.
Woburn head football coach Jack Belcher told Boston 25 News on Friday that the team never stopped conditioning and that all players were eager to hit the ground running.
“Our kids have been training for 14 months now without being able to play a game,” Belcher explained. “It’s very, very exciting to get a firm date to start practice. Three weeks from Monday.”
When it comes to playing in New England weather, Belcher opted to see the glass half full.
“It’s a different time of year obviously, but I don’t think March weather practices will be much different than November.”
With just a few months before graduation, some seniors expressed interest in continuing to play in college since they missed out on a lot of their final year playing.
“Just having the season delayed, I’ve been really wanting to get back on the field,” said Coveno. “And I feel that since I felt that passion, that I might want to continue that for 4 more years at a college somewhere.”
Win or lose, players said they were happy to salvage a season.
“We just want to play,” said Sathler.
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