In a year like no other, the Dolphin varsity football team and its coaching staff managed to carry out quite a successful season. This included a chance to battle for the sole possession of the league championship and resulted in a three way tie for said championship, which means a new banner for the gym dedicating the year 2021 as a championship year.
According to Coach Skinner, head coach for the Dolphins, “all across the board it was a pretty successful year.”
Throughout the season, there were many great plays made on both offense and defense. Kicker Kian Frookhteh set records for the team, and a milestone was reached with Leah West becoming the first female Dolphin kicker to score a point in a varsity football game. The Dolphins ranked 1 in the league and 9 in the county for passing. According to Coach Skinner, head coach for the Dolphins, “all across the board it was a pretty successful year.”
In order to be the sole winner of the league championship, Dana was tasked with beating Portola, the former league champion. It was a well-fought game, but a combination of penalties and a botched punt return in the third quarter made it quite difficult for the Dolphins to come back. The final score was a nail-biting 29-26, resulting in Dana sharing the league title as one of three teams including Portola.
The paper has covered much of the student side of pandemic sports seasons, but Coach Skinner offers some insight into the coaching aspect of it all: “Well first and foremost, the scheduling was crazy. Especially as we got later into the season, we mixed up two seasons of sports on the same field.” It became so difficult to find availability on the field that the football team had to have practices at 5 in the morning.
The coaches were seldom able to actually meet their players in person. According to Coach Skinner, “all the coaching other than on the field itself had to be done over Zoom. We couldn’t watch films together as a group. We couldn’t bring kids in a position group together … everything had to be done on Zoom.” COVID-19 regulations also changed things in a way similar to our classrooms, with things like temperature checks and questionnaires.
Another obstacle was the lack of fans. Coach Skinner said himself that “those who have been to a Dana football game when it’s full-go and all the students are there, there’s a lot of excitement, a lot of noise, and it’s a good time for everybody.” While the Dolphins certainly missed the unmatched energy of the crowd, it did not stop them from playing hard despite the adverse circumstances. The resilience of the 2020/2021 Dolphin varsity football team will be remembered for a long time to come.
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