DRAPER, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – After a summer of uncertainty, high school football is back.
“Man, I’m excited,” said Corner Canyon head coach Eric Kjar. “There were a lot of times when I was pretty concerned as a coach and as a parent where you get pretty concerned about it. So yeah, I’m excited.”
The Chargers, currently on a 26-game winning streak, will begin its quest for a third straight 6A state title on Friday at home against Farmington.
Coaches and players at Corner Canyon are adhering to all the safety protocols, including temperature and symptom checks before each practice. After watching what happened to spring sports, they know that football can be taken away if they don’t follow the proper procedures.
“I think all the leaders are doing great just getting the message out that if we don’t be safe an wear masks now because we want to play our football season,” said offensive lineman Jackson Light, who has committed to Oregon. “I think our guys have done a really great job of doing that and taking it seriously.”
“We’ve had kids, more than any other year, say I need to stay home, there’s a few symptoms here,” Kjar said. “They want to be here, but that’s happened multiple times where we’ve had to keep kids home.”
From a mental health standpoint, many teenagers suffer from anxiety and depression being cooped up for months on end. So just being back on the field and with their team, Coach Kjar says he’s noticed a big difference in his players.
“As soon as we started to get going, it was night and day,” he said. “Kids were struggling with different things during those times, so seeing how much it’s made a difference, talking to the parents, it’s just made a big difference for them. Even with my own kids. I have two kids on the team and being able to be involved in things has made a huge difference for them.”
“When we were in quarantine, it was a bummer because we couldn’t lift or do anything,” said running back Austin Bell. “It was super nice getting back to the field, and lifting with the team. It was scary knowing that we had a chance not to, but we’re back now and it’s a blessing.”
Especially for the Chargers, who have won 26 games in a row, 37 of its last 38, as they look to continue their dynasty.
“You really don’t feel like you’re in a dynasty until you’re out of it,” Light said. “I think we’ve been a part of a great team and it has been a dynasty. But I think we’re just focusing on finishing it.”