Roosevelt High football players Damian Avalos and Benjamin Reyes make Damian Avalos’ coaching team dream of a dream. It looks like this: He starts his first game with the Roosevelt Rough Riders’ quarterback. Lead them to the Garfield archrival victory in the “East LA Classic,” their first in a decade. They run in the playoffs, surprising the entire Southern California ready football scene. They almost touched it. Halfway through his senior year, however, the scene became more difficult every day. Before this month, he and his teammates were told they could no longer train together in preparation for the spring season due to the surge in COVID-19 cases and hospitals, which was a big psychological blow. Avalos has trouble sleeping. Nationwide in Texas, Dewayne Coleman also dreamed of entering his senior year. The scene went like this: Bring San Antonio Roosevelt Rough Riders to the playoffs. Beat powerful neighbor Converse Judson. College scholarship won.
Even in Texas, where “Friday Night Lights” is not a reference for pop culture, but a way of life, Coleman worried that COVID would shut down football just as it did in the athletic season last spring. But Texas has decided to let its young men play, believing that their passion for sports will lead them to follow a long list of health and safety protocols. Months later, on Saturday afternoon in December, Coleman transferred Judson’s defender for the winning goal in the first round of the playoffs in the last minutes of the game. The Rough Riders won, 28-21, the result of the San Antonio Express-News called “stunning”, and thousands of fans in the stands went wild. The decisions of the state high school sports associations regarding the autumn football reflected the nation’s response to the coronavirus. They were very varied and often driven by the political inclinations of each region. The 14 American football teams Roosevelt Rough Rider tell the story, with LA, Fresno, Portland, Ore., Seattle, Honolulu, Chicago, Washington, DC, and Long Island, NY, choosing not to play while San Antonio, Sioux Falls, SD, Johnstown, Colorado, and Kent, Ohio, organized their seasons. St. Louis and Des Moines started the seasons just to play one and two games, respectively. Roosevelt students and fans cheer the Rough Riders in the stands.
Avalos understood why California was postponing football, but at the time he thought there would be games in the spring. He admired the severity of the coronavirus after contracting in the summer while touring the two-bedroom room in Boyle Heights he shared with his mother, grandparents, aunt, and uncle. Avalos lost the sense of taste and smell and struggled with the head, but none of his family members died. He knows they are lucky. The players also asked him why the CIF Southern Schools, many of which are located in Orange County, were allowed to at least study together, but not. So Roosevelt stayed in Zoom mode, the boys watched the curtains all day, for school and football. For example, Football-Ohio shortened the regular season and started the playoffs in October rather than November to ensure its championship could be completed. That backfired on Kent’s Rough Riders when their first game was canceled due to COVID pairs and their other two games were canceled by a well-researched little Roosevelt.