Shawn Jones, 15, was one of 11 players who showed up for the first football practice of the year at St. Paul Humboldt High School. Photo: Carlos Gonzalez * email@example.com
The first day of football practice at St. Paul Humboldt brought back the excitement for junior Michael Casarez-McCampbell. Arriving at the field to find just 10 other players brought him back to reality.
The small public school on the city’s west side lost 18 seniors from last season’s team. And with the district in distance learning because of COVID-19, information isn’t as easily shared and transportation isn’t readily available.
Players and coaches did the best they could to spread the word the past week that football is back. But not all prospective players were receptive.
“A lot of times it was, ‘I’ll hit you back,’ and then they never texted back,” Casarez-McCampbell said. “We’ve got to make guys want to play, to like to play. But if they don’t want to, there’s nothing else you can do.”
On Monday, the 11 players gathered around coach Arnulfo Flores and he immediately put them into a pursuit drill.