Football team excited to get back into action in delayed season

March 10, 2021 — by Isaac Le and Andrew Li
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Coach: Tim Lugo

Last year’s overall record: 8-2

Last year’s league record: 5-1

Recap: With a strong senior class last year, the Falcons were able to make it to the Division 4 CCS Quarterfinals last year, and they are searching for similar success this year. 

Key additions: senior halfback KJ Jasti, junior defensive end Erik Van Cruyningen, junior fullback Parker Smith

Key matchups in the upcoming season: March 12 vs Homestead, March 19 vs Gunn, March 27 vs Los Altos

Star players: senior quarterback Grant Petters, senior wide receiver Ryan Gilligan, senior running back Tyler Chaffin. 

Key losses to graduation: quarterback Payton Stokes, receiver George Bian, defensive lineman Tyler Ouchida 

League: El Camino

Prognosis: 

When senior running back and cornerback Kimball Small walked back onto Benny Pierce Field recently to prepare for practice, he wore a mask and basked in the pleasant spring weather, conditions he has never experienced during his previous three years of high school football. 

Effective Feb. 26, Santa Clara County has allowed the restart of several outdoor and indoor recreational activities, including practices and games for many close contact high school sports, in light of the declining daily cases of COVID-19. Because of the loosened restrictions for high school athletics, the football team has finally taken the field again in preparation for their upcoming season, which was delayed six months from last September to this March.

According to l head coach Tim Lugo, the California Department of Public Health no longer requires student athletes to wear masks, but they are still strongly recommended for all sports. However, contact sports such as water polo and football are subject to testing if the county’s adjusted infection rate exceeds 7 infections per every 100,000 persons.

Although masks aren’t required, the team is still practicing social distancing where appropriate. 

Small said the team is practicing six days a week to get ready for a scrimmage and a shortened season with one scrimmage, five regular season games, and no playoffs, all within the El Camino League.

“There’s certainly less to play for without playoffs or a game against Los Gatos, but at the same time for our seniors, this is it, and we’re looking forward to enjoying every second of the competition regardless of who it's against,” Small said. “Hopefully football will bring some normalcy back to Saratoga.”