SALEM, Va. – Whistles blowing and sleds being pushed is typically the sound of summer preparing the boys for fall. But after a quiet 2020, the Glenvar Highlanders took to the field Thursday for the first time in over a year.
“It’s been a long haul, we’re certainly appreciative and excited, and happy and glad, all those adjectives we could use to express our gladness,” head coach Kevin Clifford said. “Having the opportunity to do this, we could shout it from up there,” he finished, pointing at the mountains behind him.
There’s certainly a lot of differences between starting the football season in August and February. The obvious being the cold temperatures. There’s still snow in the bleachers, but there’s no circumstance too outrageous for the Highlanders to abide by in order to play.
“As long as we get to play football everyone will be happy,” defensive end Blake Custer said. “So we will do what we have to do to have a season, and hopefully get a state ring.”
It’s hard to gauge progress and potential when you haven’t faced another opponent in 15 months, but Custer summed it up pretty well.
“The main thing is comparing us to last year,” he said. “We’ve gotten faster, stronger, we can move better, and we’re understanding the game more than last year. Other than that, we’re good.”
Six district games are all any team has this season to prove what they can do, but Clifford knows not even the next 24 hours are guaranteed.
“At this point, we’re going to enjoy today. Tomorrow will be here in 24 hours. We’re going to take it one day at a time, enjoy one day at a time, and whatever happens after each day, again it’s like icing on the cake, we’re excited we get to play and compete.”
Glenvar opens up their season on Monday, February 22 at home against James River.