By David Chin
The entire Bay Area has been greatly and adversely affected over the last two years because of the pandemic, with hundreds of schools, programs, and businesses abruptly shutting down the way they’ve been functioning for a countless number of years. Sports programs are no exception, as athletes across the Bay Area have been robbed of a part of their lives, not being able to compete for what is almost two years now.
Luckily for college football players in the Bay Area, they are finally starting to see the light at the end of their dark tunnel as they gear up to return to the field after such a long time, in the wake of a new football preseason. For City College’s Rams, they are particularly excited about the prospect of returning to the competition. Defensive tackle Dino Kahaulelio had this to say about the team’s return,
“Since football has returned, it has felt as if I’m whole again. The pandemic was an awful thing that made the sport of football collapse for a year, but it has reminded people the love of the game they have and helped reignite the fire of the game,” he said.
“Being able to be back together and share locker room memories again is what makes any true team great. The chemistry that is built and the lifelong friendships are what make the game great. The team is eager to line up and go to war with someone other than ourselves.”
This team certainly has a long journey ahead of them, yet it is clear the pandemic hasn’t slowed them down. However, their first game of the preseason, scheduled for Aug. 25, was canceled, which means their first official regular game will come on Saturday, Sept. 4, against Sierra College at home.
This game was originally planned to take place in Rocklin, where Sierra plays their home games, but due to air quality concerns, it was moved to San Francisco.
Kahaulelio stated that the team has been meeting over Zoom, bonding with each other, and sharing each other’s pandemic stories as a means of creating chemistry so they may work together like fitting puzzle pieces returning to the field.
For college football families and football enthusiasts alike, there is a great reason to be optimistic, and Kahaulelio and the Rams are a premier example of this.
Players are ready and excited to be returning to the football field, some with the hopes of obtaining scholarships at four-year colleges or even getting drafted in the NFL.