ASHWAUBENON (WLUK) -- The high school football season kicked off Friday night, sort of.
There actually was no kickoff, but there were high school kids playing football at Capital Credit Union Park.
Friday was the start of the "The Friday Night Showcase," a league developed by West De Pere coach Chris Greisen, who runs 7-on-7 camps during the offseason.
West De Pere is playing during the regular fall season, but Greisen wanted to give kids a chance to play whose schools opted for a spring season due to concerns with COVID-19.
Based on Friday, the idea was well received.
"Just getting out there, playing with our guys once again," De Pere senior Maddax Shinners said. "It's like our family's back playing football, you know. We had some of our students come out here to watch us play, our parents come out; just had a lot of people come out.
"I think it's a great opportunity. For me competitively, it's great."
"It felt real good to be out here, just playing, I guess, because we didn't get a season this fall," Ashwaubenon senior Levi Haen said. "So I'm a senior, just glad to be playing."
Seven on seven doesn't have the same feeling as regular Friday night football, but it didn't matter as the teams didn't lack for emotion when big plays and touchdowns were made.
"Getting the news that our season was canceled and then we get the news that this tournament is going on," De Pere senior Bennett Spaeth said. "We got a couple guys and it's been a lot of fun, just practicing, getting active again, just playing football."
Shinners found the end zone on multiple occasions against Ashwaubenon and he didn't lack enthusiasm.
"It's all in the love of the game," he said. "I just love football, so wherever I get the chance to play football I will be jumping up and down no matter what."
The Friday Night Showcase runs 10 weeks at Capital Credit Union Park, including three playoff weeks, and that will satisfy the players.
"It's pretty exciting," Haen said. "I wanted to play in the fall. Here I am playing in the fall and I'm looking forward to next week."
It may not be tackle football, but any version of high school football on a Friday night is always a good thing.
TEAMS COMPETING IN FRIDAY NIGHT SHOWCASE
- PCM Ashwaubenon
- De Pere
- Oshkosh Renegades
- Genuine Hearts
- Sturgeon Bay
*Teams cannot have affiliation with a school as this is not a WIAA sponsored sport.
Follow Doug Ritchay on Twitter @dougritchay.