WOODBINE, Md. — The wait is almost over. It is finally game week for the Westminster High School football team.
"I’m just excited," said senior defensive end/left tackle Alan Jean-Joseph. "It’s been far more than a year since we played football."
"You got to soak it all in. It’s special this year," added senior running back/linebacker Erick Stranko.
Carroll County’s COVID-19 delayed fall sports season begins on Friday. For football seven teams will play a half dozen games each over the next seven weeks. There will be no playoffs. For the 24 seniors on the Owls that’s all they need.
"There’s no state championship or anything like that but just being able to get six games this year against our county, it’s a blessing for sure," said Stranko.
"A couple months ago, back in October, there was a lot of doubt whether we were going to have a season or not. I’m glad we get this chance because those 23 other seniors, those are my siblings on the team," said Jean-Joseph.
Westminster gets a good one right out of the gate. They open their season against rival Liberty.
"The last two years this game has decided the county championship and we beat them last year in overtime on the last play of the game," said Westminster Head Coach Chris Bassler. "I think this game would have been easy to get up for anyway because of the circumstances, but the fact that we are playing in what has been the premier game in the county the last two years, I know we’re extremely excited, extremely looking forward to it and just ready to compete."
Because of the lack of artificial surfaces in Carroll County, Friday’s game will be played at Western Regional Park in Howard County. Fans will be allowed to attend - one family member per player. It may not be many, but it’s more than enough for now.
"Having an atmosphere at the game, it’s going to give us something to play for when we’re out there," said Stranko.
Kickoff between Westminster and Liberty is set for Friday night at 4:30 p.m.