Return of fall football

Renewed sense of unity among student body


Photo courtesy of @wshsspartanfootball on Instagram

Students celebrate the return of fall football with the Spartans home opening victory against Mount Vernon High School. After a year and a half of virtual learning, students show their excitement to be back in-person for school sporting events.

With the resumption of fall football underway, feelings of widespread unity among the student body have begun to reveal themselves and emerge in and around the school. This elevated sense of school spirit and pride remains ever-present and was on full display during the Spartan’s home- opening victory against Mt. Vernon and their road win the subsequent week against Edison.

Following a restriction-filled 2020-2021 academic and athletic year, this year’s home opener and away game were the seemingly first two “school-wide” events in over a year in which students and student- athletes both participated with little to no limitations. In fact, the 2021-2022 academic school year represents the first time in over a year that both students and faculty all resumed learning in person. The fact that students were finally together in the building contributed to the overall excitement and increased anticipation of the first two games. As a result, feelings of widespread isolation, endured by students for numerous months, gave way to a renewed sense of camaraderie and unity, not seen or felt since prior to the pandemic. Elation displayed from students in attendance stemmed not only from what they witnessed on the field but more notably, from what the game itself signified.

“To me, the games signified a return to normalcy for the entire school and a new feeling of unity,” said senior Haroon Huesseini.

Alongside a deepening and expanding sense of unity, feelings of a return to normalcy have arisen largely in part to the familiarity and traditions of Friday night football games. Pregame tailgating, theme nights, and the myriad of student-led cheers, were now once again a part of the school’s ordinary routine.

“It felt great to be back at the game and to take part in the tailgate. It was the first time in a while that I felt like things at school were finally getting back to normal,“said senior Daniel Smith.

During the home opener against Mt. Vernon, the student section was once again a sea of white as fans participated in the game’s “white out” theme. The following week, while at Edison, students could be identified by their tye dye apparel. These familiar and fun traditions helped to reestablish a common bond among the student body.

The resumption of in-person learning coupled with the return of fall football has both provided students a much-needed return to normalcy and a revamped sense of unity. The activities taking place this fall at WS – football in particular – were once taken for granted.  It is safe to say that students and faculty alike now appreciate this tradition more than ever.