Forsyth Central cancelled the senior night football game

The+empty+South+Forsyth+High+School+football+field+and+stadium.+The+cancellation+of+the+big+game+was+a+sad+day+for+many+senior+football+players%2C+cheerleaders%2C+and+their+families.+The+sight+of+the+empty+stadium+helped+many+students+realize+that+the+pandemic+isn%27t+over+yet+and+that+everyone+must+remain+vigilant+in+their+efforts+to+remain+healthy+and+safe.

Photo used with permission by Christopher Bunker

The empty South Forsyth High School football field and stadium. The cancellation of the big game was a sad day for many senior football players, cheerleaders, and their families. The sight of the empty stadium helped many students realize that the pandemic isn’t over yet and that everyone must remain vigilant in their efforts to remain healthy and safe.

Kailee O'Donnell, Sports Editor

On November 17th, Principal Wilson sent a letter to the South Forsyth community explaining that the anticipated football game and Senior Night set for Friday, November 20th, was no longer occurring. Mrs. Wilson shared that Forsyth Central High School, the opponent for the game, had canceled due to Covid-19 concerns. 

In her letter, Mrs. Wilson first addressed concerns regarding tickets and how they would record the game. She explained that reimbursements would be available for everyone that had purchased a ticket for the game. She also confirmed that the canceled game would count as a region win for SFHS, leaving many football players and fans relieved. 

However, many senior football players and cheerleaders weren’t as satisfied as the underclassmen athletes. Senior Night, which celebrates the graduating class of athletes, was set for the Friday game, and therefore was canceled as well. 

Senior Taft Hilton, a defensive end for the SFHS Varsity football team reflected on the moment he first read the letter. 

“I was completely taken aback by the news. Most of the underclassmen were excited because that meant we were in the playoffs, but all of the seniors instantly knew that senior night wouldn’t happen as a byproduct of that. While it was really upsetting that we wouldn’t get a senior night that we expected, the adults in our program came together to give us a good experience. They’re amazing, and they managed to move the event to before the playoff game against Norcross. They’re wonderful people, and all the seniors were so grateful to them.”

Despite the disappointment that many seniors initially felt, the athletes chose to focus on the bright side of the situation and reflect on everything else that they were able to accomplish this year despite the unprecedented challenges they have faced. 

Senior football cheerleader Tori Watkins shared her perspective on the situation as well. 

“I was very upset that our senior night game got canceled, but I knew it was for the best. The cheer team was still able to celebrate our accomplishments by doing our senior dinner. I am thankful to have such an amazing team and organization that does everything they can to celebrate each and every one of us!”

Towards the end of the letter, Mrs. Wilson called for everyone to be positive and have a good attitude regarding the situation, which the athletes appear to have taken to heart. Mrs. Wilson then shared that she is looking forward to winter sports, competitions, and club activities, leaving many to hope that other activities will continue as planned. The letter concluded with Mrs. Wilson thanking readers for understanding why the game had to be canceled, and with a reminder to everyone that this action has been taken to protect the health of students and community members.

Along with many others, junior football cheerleader Sara Dougherty respected Mrs. Wilson’s decision.

“I know the decision to cancel was not an easy one but I understand it. We have been fortunate to have a season and right now we just take it day by day and try to be flexible. I know that South and the administration will continue to put our health and safety first.” 

As the year goes on and Covid-19 concerns remain, students are learning to be flexible and remain positive as circumstances continue to change. Students should aspire to maintain the same grace, understanding, and positive attitude that the football players and cheerleaders have achieved.