Freedom football happy to be practicing again

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{ }Freedom will open the season at Winneconne on Sept. 25. (WLUK)

FREEDOM (WLUK) -- High school football practice was originally scheduled to kick off Aug. 4, but concerns about COVID-19 put the season on hold until late August when a decision was made schools could move forward with a fall season if they chose to.

Freedom and the North Eastern Conference are moving ahead with fall football instead of opting for a spring season and the Irish, after some nervous times, couldn't be happier about getting ready to defend its NEC title.

"There were obviously always the doubts of if we will ever be able to get out here again, but luckily we were and we got to do whatever we can to keep our season alive and we're doing whatever's necessary to keep it alive," senior quarterback Jackson Higgins said.

"It's definitely scary," senior receiver/defensive back Conor Dickrell said. "You're reading Twitter and all this and all the colleges canceling their seasons. We're just hoping that there's this little chance that we can play.

"We finally heard that we were going to be able to play and then we're just waiting for our schedule and waiting for our pads."

Freedom aiming for a repeat

Freeodm is practicing but there are differences than in the past. Everyone has to be mindful of where they are and coaches need to make sure everyone is doing what is being asked.

"Everything's really different, but we as the coaches look at that as an enormous responsibility that we have to do everything we can to keep them safe and whatever we have to alter or change we've been doing that," coach Frank Mattia said. "Social distancing wherever possible, cleaning things, masks when you're not in there."

Attendance at games will be limited this season, so Friday Night Football will have a different look and a quieter look. The players know it's going to be strange.

"Friday, during school it'll probably be the same, but then getting out to game time is going to be a lot different, the atmosphere, there's a lot less people," Dickrell said.

"It's obviously going to be a different atmosphere, our fans are always so great there cheering; they're always really loud, but I think we're all just really happy to be back.," Higgins said.

The Irish's season opener is September 25 at Winneconne.



  • Sept. 25 at Winneconne
  • Oct. 2 Denmark
  • Oct. 9 at Luxemburg-Casco
  • Oct. 16 Little Chute
  • Oct. 23 at FVL
  • Oct. 30 Marinette
  • Nov. 6 at Wrightstown

Follow Doug Ritchay on Twitter @dougritchay