The end of the week marks the homecoming game for the Pride. This will also be the last home game at Marshall L. Hamilton football stadium (photo taken by: Kyla McGhee).
Homecoming: an American high school tradition. Parades, senior days, spirit weeks, and a sense of pride among each school — at least, that’s how it was before the pandemic. Fall sports like football were shoved into the spring, and limited capacity in school buildings is a general buzzkill. While it certainly isn’t a normal homecoming game for Leesville, the football team is pumped; it’s a night they’ve been waiting for, despite all the circumstances.
“The football season was very different this year,” said Ethan Burchfield, a senior on the team, in an email. “Every time we come to football we have to wear a mask at all times while working out and playing in practices or games.”
“The football season has certainly changed a ton due to COVID,” said Will Keever, another senior, agreeing with his teammate. “Games certainly look a whole lot different. Less fans, no running out of the helmet pre-game, and even sideline looks different with everything a lot more spread out. However, at the end of the day, it’s still the same game, and I think we’re all just grateful to have the opportunity to be out there.”
There’s a bittersweet feeling for the seniors — this isn’t the final year they wanted, but they’re grateful for the chance to play. “I’d be lying if I said a shortened spring season was how I envisioned my high school career ending, but overall I’m just enjoying being out there with the team,” said Keever. Burchfield agrees, saying he’s “just happy that we were able to have a season, and that I got to play with my teammates again.”
Both players are confident about their upcoming homecoming game. “We’ve been very smart as far as abiding by the guidelines and although our record isn’t where it should be, I feel good about the way we’ve completed,” said Keever. Burchfield shares the sentiment: “We feel good and are prepared for the game on Friday.”
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