ODENTON, Md. — There was a big play in Anne Arundel County for Fall youth sports on Wednesday.
Tackle football and cheerleading will now have a season.
The 12 and under GORC Wildcats wasted no time hitting the field in Odenton.
“I love playing so much because it’s like a family, we all love each other,” said Blake Conner.
Conner, a linebacker and running back for the Wildcats, was ecstatic to start playing again.
“When we get out of school we all talk to each other about school. It’s definitely like a release of energy for some people.”
After months of playing defense against the pandemic, the return of football is a small gain for young people.
“I was very excited I thought we wouldn’t have a season,” running back and linebacker Luke Doyle said.
Anne Arundel County Executive Stuert Pittman announced a flag only season last week.
With Governor Hogan’s announcement that the state will move to phase 3 Pittman opened up the field to tackle again.
Danny Laupp watched his son practice Wednesday.
He trusts the coaches and the decrease in COVID-19 numbers enough to put his mind at ease while his son plays.
“Coaches they are fathers too, what they teach they are teaching heart,” said Laupp. “You’ve got to have heart and it’s hard work.”
Anne Arundel County Recreation and Parks has a new set of of guidelines for coaches to “reduce contact and distance per CDC guidelines”.
Coach and father Jason Doyle said they’ve already started implementing those guidelines.
“Our parents socially distance,” Doyle said. “We wear masks while we’re coaching. Obviously you can see the hand sanitizers out and we try to keep the kids spread apart as much as we can.”
Coach Doyle said the return to football means a lot to the kids and parents.
“They are part of something, they are part of the team,” Doyle said. “We’re teaching them how to be leaders. How to handle themselves and conduct themselves on and off the field which transcends more than just football.”
As we wait on the final whistle for COVID-19, families hope the only thing their kids catch this season is touchdowns.