Clinton's Varsity Football Season Decision Explained

Tim Komer
Posted 8/25/21

After a week we have had time to digest the concept of a CHS 2021 Varsity Football gap year. It makes sense once you get your mind wrapped around it. Nearly all the comments and reactions have been …

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Clinton's Varsity Football Season Decision Explained

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After a week we have had time to digest the concept of a CHS 2021 Varsity Football gap year. It makes sense once you get your mind wrapped around it. Nearly all the comments and reactions have been positive. Sure, people are worried, but the decision was well thought out and the best thing in the long run. The details will take a while. The first JV game will be at Ava on Monday, Aug. 30.
Everything from Homecoming to concession stands will have to be adapted. All activities will be kept and assimilated into the JV Football schedule. We all want to see the Band play and Dance Team perform. We all hope the Cheer Squad will be in full voice. Football would not be the same without them. Other important questions have been answered. “Can this year’s football players earn a varsity letter?” The answer is yes. Overwhelmingly the parents of the players commented they were in favor of the decision. AD Alex Johnson has been talking with the opposing coaches trying to drum up some extra quarters for the freshmen. This would also allow us to move the JV start times to give the parents more time to get to the games.
Here are some general comments after the announcement: Brandon Goth said it clearly, “It’s not just about this year but the future of Clinton Cardinal Football! It needs to be done.”
Mat Thornton said, “I am very proud of the administration for making decisions that will protect students. Student activities were so important to me. I know the district will continue to provide incredible opportunities for students to learn and grow.”
David Lee announced CHS football forever. David commented, “I just can’t believe all the people with supportive comments concerning this situation. With a tear in my eye, I salute you. Monday Night Football now belongs to Clinton High School. Go Cardinals!!”
Coach LaFavor pointed out that the practices since the announcement have been very positive and productive. The Cardinal MS Coach Dana Banks also noticed how upbeat practices have been. Banks commented, “Sure it was a tough decision, but it was the right decision.”
Looking at the talent in the younger grades the future looks bright for the Cardinal football program. The coaching staff is in place with a head coach that is working hard and staying positive. The players seem to have bought into the gap year idea. The younger players seem to understand that they have serious potential, they just need a little more time. When the whistle blows, and the game starts it will be the Cardinals vs the Bears. Nobody will worry about JV or Varsity. Details will be worked out and games will be played.
Coach LaFavor was interviewed right before practice on Monday, Aug. 23. His response to, “How are things going?”, since the JV only football schedule was announced a week ago: “It has gone well, we did have to more fully explain a few points but generally there was a ton of positive comments. In fact, I have really been overwhelmed by how supportive the community has been.”
Coach LaFavor talked about how the team reacted to the announcement of a JV only schedule: “For the most part they understood. Most are excited to play at a level where they can be competitive. Let's face it, some are relieved to play against opponents closer to their age and size.” Coach went on to say, “Some juniors had mixed feelings. Some needed time to accept it. That is very understandable. The coaches and I spent extra time with those guys answering their questions.”
Coach LaFavor’s input on unexpected challenges: We (coaches and administrators) spent a lot of time trying to anticipate the challenges. The schedule itself may still have a change or two. We lost the California JV game but picked up the Ava game on the same date. Yes, there are a lot of challenges but nothing we can’t handle, and of course, it is all about helping rebuild the program. We knew it wouldn’t be easy, but it will be worth it.”
Coach’s Final Thoughts were: “Like I said, I was ready for anything, but I am so appreciative of the folks that spoke up in support of me and the decision.”
Coach LaFavor went into some detail about how using a JV only schedule will help the coaches and the players learn more about their skill development. The players will play in more appropriate positions instead of being thrown into situations that will not benefit them down the road. “With a JV schedule we will have depth, something we have not had for a while.” Go Cards.

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