Football team ready for Saturday night kickoff

During+fifth+period+practice%2C+the+varsity+football+players+work+on+drills+to+prepare+for+their+season+opener+this+weekend+against+Pasadena+South+Houston.+The+team+played+a+scrimmage+last+weekend.

Maria Landy Garcia

During fifth period practice, the varsity football players work on drills to prepare for their season opener this weekend against Pasadena South Houston. The team played a scrimmage last weekend.

Gabby Norman, Managing Editor

As the first kickoff nears, varsity football player Xander Aguilar is growing increasingly excited. The junior was disappointed with the season being pushed back, but believes in the long run this could benefit the team’s season.

“We’re more united and more put together,” Aguilar said. “It would have been nice to play in more scrimmages and pad up sooner, though.”

The football season will kick off Saturday, Sept. 26 against Pasadena South Houston. Homecoming was pushed to Dec. 4, but neither Aguilar nor head football coach Clayton Maple believes the season will be pushed back. They are fully confident the season will start as planned. 

“We’re excited to be practicing and playing,” Maple said. “Our goals are to improve every game and advance in the playoffs.”

Maple has been coaching football since 1996 and has no time for worrying, instead making sure his teams are working their hardest. Precautions are being taken for all Kingwood Park sports, with athletes being required to wear masks when not competing and the weight room being completely sanitized. 

I’m not concerned about the season being canceled anymore. It’s Texas. We’re going to have football.”

— Xander Aguilar, junior

“Coaches and players do not worry about things we can’t control. We don’t worry, we work,” Maple said. “The district has provided masks for all athletes.”

At first, COVID made students overcautious, worried to go to practice or school. Aguilar was worried to go to football practice over the summer, but soon realized he felt safe in the KP environment. 

“I was just a little nervous because COVID was new, (but) a week in I felt safe,” Aguilar said. “I’ve gotten used to wearing a mask at practice, I keep it around my neck.”

The hardest part of COVID for the football teams is not having an unlimited supply of water. The athletes are now having to supply their own water instead of having it supplied by athletic trainers. COVID had thrown a wrench in everyone’s plans, but Maple has full faith in his team. 

“We have focus, determination and a family commitment to each other,” Maple said. “I try to be the best coach I can be to help our team reach their goals.”

Maple encourages anyone who is able to go to the team’s games and support the boys as they pad up for the first time this season. 

“I’m not concerned about the season being canceled anymore,” Aguilar said. “It’s Texas. We’re going to have football.”