In an already very weird year, high school football in Tacoma is now set to begin less than a week before the Super Bowl – in February.
Fall sports that were delayed for months due to the pandemic have now been given the go-ahead to begin, with safety measures such as face masks. Those sports include volleyball, cross country, girls soccer, girls swim and golf, in addition to football.
For students who have had to put much of their lives on hold over the past year, the ability to play sports again offers a big psychological boost. That includes Juwaan Terry, an 18-year-old senior at Lincoln High School in Tacoma who plays cornerback on the football team. He shared his story for KNKX’s Take the Mic youth voices series.
Juwaan said the sport has been a love of his since elementary school, even though he’s a little bit on the skinny side.
“Football, you can be big, small, have a lot of talent, but if you got the heart, you’ve got it. You can play,” he said. “I had heart and a little – I call it swag. Confidence.”
But his senior year – the culmination of his public school career – has been made up of learning from home through a computer. He’s not sure if he’ll have a graduation ceremony with his friends. And there’s been this big question looming for months. Would they get to play football?
“I lost hope, because they said we were going to have it in the fall, and we didn’t,” Juwaan said. “I was really praying this quarantine, asking God what’s going on? He’s been helping me through this. Strength from God, that’s all.”
Then he got the text from his coach that the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association was letting them move ahead and play. It was a joyful moment in a hard year.
“I think we had enough of quarantine, and we’re ready to play,” he said.
We’d like to hear from more teens and kids about their lives right now – hard times, joyful times and everything in between. For more information on how to submit a story for the Take the Mic series, click here.