The New Friday Night Lights
By: Lena Forbes
In a school year of unprecedented times, there have been a lot of questions surrounding sports, as well as the student sections at sports events. While student fans could not attend games in the basketball season, Wheaton North has created a modified superfan section for the shortened football season. A maximum of 160 students are permitted to attend the game, and students need to reserve their tickets ahead of time through their graduating class’s Google Classroom page. When they arrive at the game, there are chairs from the cafeteria placed six feet apart in the North end zone behind the field goal. Students are asked to stay socially distanced during the game.
While this setup does make sense from a Covid safety standpoint, many students were upset to hear about it replacing the traditional bleacher setup. Senior Maria Haworth states that she “was quick to criticize the setup,” as she expressed concerns about people in the back rows not being able to see and the lack of perspective from the endzone position. At the second game, the administration allowed students to stand against the gate as long as they wore their masks and remained distanced, which helped with the issues people had with viewing during the first game. However, despite frustrations at this point in the pandemic, we can all understand the necessity of distancing and wearing masks at any big event. Haworth concluded, “I think as long as everyone keeps their masks on and up, we can reduce the spread a good amount and still enjoy some football.” The social distancing set up at Rexilius Field allows students to enjoy the game while remaining safe.
The entire senior class is simply happy to get one last chance to superfan, even if it looks a little different. With the modified football season, games have been at slightly different times, including the most recent North vs. South game that took place at 1 PM on a Saturday afternoon. Many students were happy to be in the sun rather than freezing in the dark at the end of a traditional season. Senior Genna Carter says, “I absolutely love being able to go to football games this year...with the uncertainty of the season and thinking we won’t even get one, having three games has been so great!” Similarly, Senior Lindsay Kwiatkowski says she’s simply “happy that we have the ability to superfan and watch games because we all thought, given the circumstances, that we wouldn’t be able to this year!” Ultimately, the senior class, athletes, and the entire Wheaton North community are truly grateful to the people who worked to make this possible.