ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR)–In any normal year .. we’d be talking about high school football playoffs this weekend. But .. this is no ordinary year. The VHSL decided to move high school football competition to the spring because of COVID — but, private school North Cross decided to move on with a fall football season.
Private schools in Virginia are governed by the Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association.
The VISAA decided not to have fall championships but schools under the VISAA can take part in football and other fall sports, giving the green light for North Cross to have a fall football season.
You have heard of the saying the only game in town. For the North Cross Raiders football team you could say that about them. In the era of COVID-19, this was a season unlike any other as north cross hit the gridiron in 2020.
The North Cross Raiders hit the field for the 2020 season being the only public or private school in the area to play football.
The Raiders were scheduled to play 8 games but only were able to play 4 winning all of those games.
Head coach Stephen Alexander says having a season would be a tall order but overall competing was special for the team.
“That was one of the biggest challenges, so many things were up in the air. We were going down on to the practice field not knowing who or if we would have an opponent. That is hard to do with football. There is a reason why they don’t have open gym during football season. A football practice isn’t alwasy a fun proposition. It was a big challenge every day. Not knowing on those day what we wer preparing for guys in the program they kept their heads down and they cared about each other. They did a real good job under the circumstances,” said Alexander.
During the season the players as well as students at north cross we tested on a regular basis. As far as getting in any part of a season it was a roller coaster ride but coach alexander is happy to play some games this fall. “You can’t put a price on the time spent with your teammates time spent coaching your young men. We had two big wins over Fork Union one at home and one at their place that were really special for us. As a small school competing against a school that size. That was really cool. I would do it all the time if we got the chance. It didn’t work out exactly how we wanted to work we knew going into it wasn’t going to be an easy road,” said Alexander.
During the season, the Raiders on had one player test positive for the coronavirus.
For North Cross, this will a season they will not forget.