New season kicks off with promising players despite COVID setbacks

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Ben Moss

Bronco Varsity football players perform their pre-game chant, “pound that rock,” prior to meeting their opponents on the field. This year, Coach Littles feels that the team has tremendous potential.

Elyssa Harriott, Staff Writer

The Broncos hit the field against Forest Hills, Dwyer, and Boca kicking off the season with a 4-0 stat. Presenting themselves as a unified team even as new protocols were put into place due to COVID.

“We are doing everything we can to stay safe and keep the season going,” explained Coach Littles, who was recently named Coach of the Week by New Era Prep. “From a football standpoint, we are trying to create discipline and team unity. We have an extremely talented team and want to make sure our work ethic matches the talent.”

Some new protocols include reduced capacity for games to 50 percent and sanitizing bleachers between games and practices along with digital ticketing, social distancing, and mask mandates. The players are also sanitizing their equipment and only letting a certain number of people in the locker rooms at a time. 

“What we went through last year is forcing us to take COVID very seriously,” Littles noted.  

Last year, Littles and his team saw their season cut short after players were testing positive and being quarantined.  The players protested, fearing their recruitment opportunities and scholarships were being threatened, and, after the last player came out of quarantine, the season was able to continue. 

Now with the new season starting there will be complications and obstacles not just concerning COVID but with trying to get things back to normal as it can and that starts with the players.

However, Littles remains optimistic on the season.   

“For us, I believe that we have a ton of talent and we need to find ways to make all the talent come together,” Littles said. “Sometimes as a society we allow our talent to become the enemy of our greatness, so keeping our kids focused can be a challenge.” 

For Littles, calling out the talent is easy this year, rattling off a list of names that came to mind.  “There are a ton of good players, but these guys stand out,” he explained.

Ahmad Haston QB

Javioran Wimberley WR

Luby Maurice WR

Aramian Frasier LB

Steven Quintino LB

Ka’Ron Young DB

Sheridan McDonald DB

Devin WyGant RB/LB

Donahue Hacker DL/OL

Dominic Martinez OL/DL 

Just like any other high school there are seniors that are on the team and when they graduate we are going to need to prepare for the new seasons to come and help them prepare for college.

“Once the SR move on we focus on finding them homes for college and finding the next group of young guys that will help us win games,” he further noted.  

But let’s get real, sports is just as much about the Bronco fans as it is about the athletes.  Last year, the bleachers were for parents only, with two being the max number of tickets granted.  This year, the stadium is still at reduced capacity but anyone holding a ticket is admissible.  Fans are also strongly encouraged to wear masks (if you forget, masks will be provided) but since the football stadium is outside, facial coverings are not mandatory.  

Senior Leemary Mejia was excited to get back to the game when she attended our first home game of the season against Dwyer.

“It was nice to see a win and it felt refreshing to be a part of the energetic atmosphere,” she said.

The cheering fans weren’t the only ones returning to the games; the band could also be heard.

Christian Holt, senior and one of the percussion section leaders noted how much enjoyment he got over being back at the games.

“It’s very nostalgic,” Holt said.  “After not playing for two years at a football game, it’s great to get back into the stands and assist with the cheers.  Since we don’t have competitions this year due to COVID, performing during halftime is our only chance to go out on the field.” 

To purchase tickets for the game, Bronco fans should click on GoFan and type in Palm Beach Central High School.