While COVID-19 has affected both practice and gameplay, as it has in every sport, the Morristown-Beard Football team has not let it hold them back from success.
The team has taken a variety of safety precautions including not having access to the locker rooms, each player bringing their own water, and wearing masks while keeping socially distant during breaks. The season itself is shorter by three games, not including ones that have been canceled due to the switch to distance learning twice in the last two months, and has no playoffs with limited spectators allowed to watch. Another change was the late start to the full contact, which was not allowed during summer practices as usual. Players such as Captain Greg Sutton ‘21 found this to be a particularly difficult challenge.
When talking about the topic, Varsity Head Coach Tim Fell, also a math teacher at MBS, said that it was strange getting to know some of the new athletes when they are covering their faces with masks. Luckily, the team is making the best of the situation; the captains said that social distancing and possible lack of fans would not affect their gameplay because they are motivated by each other and their love for the game.
Although these changes seem intimidating, the team has been optimistic about this year. Coach Fell said, “After everything we have gone through the past six months, just the idea of playing real games is inspiring.” The players are eager to see a new talent they gained from the underclassmen. The team also gained many new players this year and ended up growing their program after losing some critical leadership and players in last year’s graduating class. The teams this year are structured with both a varsity and junior varsity team.
Despite all of these changes, the team went into this odd season with the right attitude, and were rewarded handsomely, winning all four of their games. The team’s victories were over Montclair Kimberley Academy on October 3 (Homecoming) and November 21, Newark Academy on October 17, and Pingry on November 14.