High School football brings normalcy to schools amid COVID

Published: Sep. 7, 2020 at 11:06 PM EDT
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BASCOM, Ohio (WTVG) - It was Monday Night Football in Northwest Ohio as one school district hit COVID head-on and has, so far, come through to start both school and the high school football season.

It’s been a long spring and a long summer but finally the Hopewell-Louden seniors got to take the field.

It’s an American tradition -- Monday Night Football but this time it’s happening in Bascom as Hopewell-Loudon took on Gibsonburg. Dawn Bour watched her son Ashton play defense, kick and throw touchdown passes.

“It’s just really good. These kids have been dealt a crappy hand and finally we made it tonight,” said Bour.

After several positive COVID tests for both faculty and students at Hopewell Loudon, both school and football were pushed back a few weeks. Students will start school later this week in a hybrid model, but the football season began Monday night.

“These boys needed it. It really took a toll on them, both mentally and physically. To be out here tonight with each other, you’re starting to see a smile back on their faces,” said Bour.

The game featured a few 2020 subtleties for this game, like socially distanced cones on the sidelines for the kids to stand at, fewer fans in the stands, and masks for players and fans alike.

Gibsonburg’s Colin Bruns was waiting for his shot as his family watched the Golden Bears’ second game of the year, the school agreeing to push this game back a few days.

“I think they’re just as anxious as everybody to get some normalcy back. Just getting back in the classrooms, on the field, getting back to their outlets,” said Gibsonburg parent Kristen Bruns.

“It’s just another example of something that is a challenge, is bringing people together and collaborating with each other and making things happen,” said Brian Rothrick, Hopewell-Loudon High School principal.

As Rothrick and his staff await the students’ return this week, he says the game certainly missed the student sections, but it was nice on Monday night to hear familiar sounds like the marching band.

“We’re going to take what we can get right now. This is as normal as we can get,” said Rothrick.

Hopewell-Loudon defeated Gibsonburg, 27-13.

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