Texas high school football kicked off Monday with its first practices for the fall season amid hope across the state that this season may be better than the last.
Rain forced Dallas Skyline to practice in its gym Monday, but it didn’t damper excitement.
“This season is going to be an epic season and I say that because we finally get all the kids to come back to school,” Skyline High School Athletic Coordinator and Head Football Coach Herman Johnson said.
After a year of virtual schooling, Herman said he expected around 4,500 students to return to campus.
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“With football, I want to win,” Skyline senior cornerback Anthony Davis said. “And with school, I just want to be back in the class and get the learning experience with the teachers.”
Like many other programs, Skyline's 2020 season was disrupted by quarantines and COVID-19 protocols.
Quarterback Darryl Richardson said the only way to describe last year was weird.
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“I’m excited to go back and see my classmates and get back in school,” Richardson said.
With the rise of the delta variant, concerns remain. However, the team said it's taking as many precautions as possible.
Johnson said his coaching staff was vaccinated and it’s a topic of discussion among players.
Lisa Gay has two boys playing football this year and said she was cautiously optimistic.
“I just pray that they have a full season with no setbacks with the pandemic going on,” Gay said.
The Skyline Raiders made it to the second round of the playoffs last season and players said they hoped to do even better this year.
“We feel like we have something to prove and we’re going to go out there and do it,” junior defensive end Eli Wallace said.
They open their season on Aug. 27 against Arlington High School at Globe Life Park.
“I want everybody to be on the lookout for Skyline football this year,” senior defensive back Gregory Johnson said. “We’re going to shock the world. Go Skyline!”