WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY)–New Hanover High School and the rest of the Mideastern Conference are preparing to play a football season that will be unlike any other.
“I really love this sport and if this sport would have gotten taken away from me I don’t know what I’d do,” says New Hanover senior Shakur Granger.
New Hanover High School seniors thought for a moment they may not get the opportunity to play football this year. Now, they’re lacing up their cleats and putting on their pads ready to go to battle in the month of February.
“It definitely means a lot to be out here with all my brothers,” said Wildcat senior Landon Farriss. “We’ve been through a lot and we still got a long way to go.”
The players say even through the grind that comes with trying to play football through a pandemic there’s still nothing else they’d rather be doing.
“It just takes a lot of determination from all of us,” says New Hanover High School senior Bryson Boyette. “We had to do everything just hoping for that season to come. It was a lot of grind over the offseason not knowing if we would get a season, but having to be prepared if we did get a chance to play.”
A handful of the Wildcat players said they feel more prepared for this season than maybe any in years past. Most teams across the Cape Fear have been holding voluntary workouts since last summer, meaning they’ve waiting for the opportunity to step on that field for months. Now, they’re just days away from having that chance.
“I’m prepared, I know my teammates are prepared,” said New Hanover running back Razz Chandler. “We are working hard every day at practice. You know we got our first game coming up this Friday. I got confidence in both sides of the ball that we are going to get the job done.”
It won’t be the ordinary non-conference game to begin the season for the Wildcats. New Hanover will start the year against cross town rival Hoggard. It’s a game that was added to the schedule just days ago with North and South Brunswick both on pause due to covid-19.
New Hanover head coach Dylan Dimock says even on short notice any opportunity to get on the field is one they can’t pass up this season.
“It’s a game, I mean there’s nothing given this season,” Dimock says. “The rug could get pulled out from underneath you at anytime. So, if there’s an opportunity to play you know I think these kids have earned the right to go play. We might not be as prepared or familiar with each other, but at the same time they get to play.”
New Hanover and Hoggard will kickoff at 6:00 p.m. on Friday night at Legion Stadium.