Every high school football team battles some kind of adversity each year. In 2020 the battle against COVID-19 has been the storyline across the board, but the Albany Lions have been hit particularly hard by the effects of the pandemic on their season.
Head Coach Denney Faith said, “You just never know what’s going to happen. We got ready to play last week for a bi-district game and find out that we’re not going to have a game, that COVID has hit Chico.”
Ryder Wilkins said, “We knew going into it that stuff could be changed. We’ve had to cancel two games but we’re just trying to stay focused and keep going.”
The Lions advanced to the Area Round of the playoffs once Chico announced they must forfeit due to a COVID-19 outbreak on campus.
Wilkins said, “Luckily it got canceled toward the beginning of the week so we just kind of took the rest of the week to just get in shape and stay conditioned. It didn’t affect us too badly.”
Barrett Beal said, “I was kind of relieved about it, it gave us another week to heal, get refreshed and get our mindsets set back to the playoffs.”
Albany is hopeful to contunue advancing in the playoffs, but they’re also hopeful that will be settled on the field.
Faith said, “It’s going to be close to three weeks before we’ve been on the field so it’s kind of anxious.”
The Lions have lost only one game on the season and are 5-0 in district but they expect to be challenged this week against 8-3 Ralls.
Faith said, “We just keep practicing, doing the things we’ve been doing all year, trying to keep the routine the same as much as possible. Hopefully we’ll come out, shake some rust off early and be ready to go.”
Beal said, “This could be our last game, we’re just keeping our mindset that this could be it.”
The Lions kickoff against the Jack Rabbits Thursday at 7 PM in Snyder.