For years, Immanuel Lutheran Christian Academy’s (ILCA) football team was the highlight of Friday night. Now, a lack of participation is what prevents ILCA from dominating the turf. Caleb Siegele, a part-time sophomore at ILCA, was a long-time member of the team.
“I mainly played football because I didn’t really know what it was. I started liking it so I played it for about three years.” Siegele said.
When Siegele first discovered that football was out of the picture for the 2020 season, he was devastated.
“It’s pretty crappy. I think football is a great sport, but that’s just the way it is. Not enough people played.” Siegele said.
Although he is unable to participate in his favorite sport, Siegele has found other ways to occupy his time. He continues to watch football on the professional level, but additionally, he has taken up running. This fall, instead of facing opponents on the field, he is competing alongside ILCA’s cross country team. Nevertheless, Siegele will always miss football and the opportunities that came with it.
“There were a lot of great people who played with me. I really liked my teammates and coaches.” Siegele said.
The inability to field a team has come as a surprise to both players and fans. Melissa Stephens, a long-time supporter of ILCA’s football team, was particularly upset when she first heard the news.
“I was really bummed out. There’s just something about playing football. It’s fun.” Stephens said.
Another prominent figure disappointed by this upsetting loss is former coach, Billy Daves. Daves served as the head coach of ILCA’s football team for two years.
“I was sad to hear that not enough guys wanted to come out and play. We had a lot of fun. It was amazing to watch them improve.” Daves said.
Daves hopes that the football program will be revived despite this season’s outcome. Fortunately, he isn’t the only one looking toward the future. ILCA’s Athletic Director Taylor Mueller is working tirelessly to ensure that this does not mark the end of football at ILCA.
“I try to talk to kids every day when I can. I try to recruit kids from our own student body to do this or that. You also want them to be passionate about it too, because it’s better for everyone if they are.” Mueller said.
As it stands, ILCA is without football this season. However, there is still hope for the years to come.