CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Like a lot of teams, the Avon Lake Shoremen weren't sure that this day would come. But this morning, they were playing football again, a home scrimmage against Padua.
"Sure, it always crossed our mind," Shoremen head coach Matt Kostelnik said about the possibility of not having a fall season. "Until we got that definite 'get out there and go'."
That came three days ago, when Governor Mike DeWine gave the go-ahead.
"I told the kids, every day's a gift out here," Kostelnik says.
And one week from today, they give the community a gift, kicking off the season against arch rival Avon.
"I was joking around with Coach Elder (Eagles head coach)," Kostelnik says. "I have a lot of respect for them and they do a fantastic job over there. So it's great that we get our rival Week One, and our communities can get some excitement around the game and feel a little normalcy."
But ... it'll be different. There won't be the usual 3,000-plus in the stands. Just family members, and the bands.
They'll take it.
“It’s gonna be different, no question, but our kids, they’re just so excited about this opportunity to play this game with the kids they’ve grown up with,” Eagles head coach Mike Elder said. “These kids have played together forever, so we’ll take what we can get right now. It’s not gonna be the same, but we’re certainly excited about it.”
"I think the kids are gonna be excited enough to be out here, and going against our rival," Kostelnik says. "Sure, the crowds are not gonna be big, but you know what? We've handled everything up to this point. The kids are resilient, they're positive, and we're just excited to get out there."
“I feel like the happiest person ever right now.”