City High Football: 2020 Season Recap

Emily Martinez and Natalie Green

Throughout the fall 2020 football season, the City High Little Hawks have faced many obstacles due to COVID-19. During the summer, players attended Zoom workout sessions in order to keep players staying active and in shape.

 “I’ve been training nonstop just in case we have a full season or some more games. I’ll be more ready than the people that have not been doing anything over quarantine,” Ronnie Major ‘23 said.

When the Iowa City District Board of Directors voted to begin the school year online, all in-person extra-curricular activities were suspended. 

“[COVID-19] definitely had an impact on our schedule,” Trevor Hills ‘21 said. “Not being able to meet for the majority of the summer and being restricted to zoom workouts had a negative impact on our fundamentals and slowed our ability to implement plays.”

After three weeks of 100% online school, the percentage rate of COVID-19 cases in Iowa City dropped up to 15%, allowing the district to continue with their hybrid option and all City High athletics to have in-person practices and competitions starting September 26.

“[COVID-19] has played a big part in interrupting our practices and/or games because all we wanna do is get stronger, faster, and bigger but we can’t do that with everything that’s going on today and for some of us, young boys football is all we have so we really give it our all,” Major said.

The Varsity Football team started off their season with a home game on August 28 against Davenport Central’s Blue Devils, winning with a score of 35-14 and the freshmen-sophomore team winning with a score of 46-0. 

“Our first game against Davenport Central was pretty solid overall in my opinion. Of course, there were some mistakes and stuff to be cleaned up but that’s not surprising being our first live game. We had some guys really stand out and make some great plays,” Hills said.

Next, the Little Hawks went up against their rivals, the West High Trojans on September 4. It was an unlucky night for the Little Hawk Varsity team as the Trojans put up quite a fight winning with a final score of 56-20  leaving the Little Hawks with a 1-1 record. However, the Sophomore-Freshman team prevailed, winning with a final score of 42-0.

“When we played [against] West I was really proud of [my team] because they really went out there, dominated the other team, and gave it their all,” Major said.

The Little Hawks were scheduled to go up against Cedar Rapids Washington on September 10, and Prairie September 18, but were unable to due to the pause in sports. Their next home game was against the Cedar Falls Tigers, where the Little Hawk Varsity team lost by a score of 52-7. 

The Little Hawks ran into a few issues throughout the months but didn’t allow it to get to their heads as the teams were eager to play more than ever.

“I think our biggest issue was bringing other teammates down in practice and not hoping to get better. But on game days, we [were] really supportive of each other, got on the field, gave it our all, and showed the other schools what it’s like to be a little hawk,” Major said.

As the second to last game of the season came around, the players reflected on the obstacles they faced this season, and what new skills they’ve learned to better prepare them as a team. 

“Honestly I don’t think we really struggled with anything huge, there were bumps along the way of course but that’s to be expected with the circumstances of COVID. We had good team chemistry and the tangible skills [and] attributes that really helped negate any big negatives,” Hills said. 

The Little Hawks went up against Marion’s Linn Mar Lions Friday, October 2nd. The Lions scored 50 points winning against the Little Hawk Varsity team with only 36 points, leaving the team with a 1-2 season record.

“I think other teams probably give a higher percentage of hard work during [some] practices but when we give it our best during practices you can really tell the outcome on game days,” Major said.

As for next season, the players are hopeful for a better season as well as continuing to improve on things they struggled with this season.

“Something I’d definitely like to see for my teammates next year is a regular-season without all the uncertainty that’s come with this one,” Hills said. “The thing I enjoyed most about this season is definitely being able to hang out and compete with all my friends and help each other get better both on and off the field.” 

The Little Hawks’ final game is against the Liberty Lightning Bolts at City High on Friday, October 9th.

“We really came together this year by being [more of ] a family and a real team. It has got us to so many places and it’s just going to get better and better throughout the years,” Major said.