by Izaak Garcia
The start of the fall semester is in full swing across the country, with all levels of students going back to classrooms to fill their minds with knowledge and educate themselves about the world around them. Classroom numbers, textbooks, notebooks, backpacks, and everything in between are on the minds of every student and parent as the year starts. Clubs are starting up again, college applications are being completed and submitted, and on top of all that, extracurricular activities. Regardless of what age you are or what grade you are currently in, there is no denying that there is one thing that makes its presence known during the fall: football.
Whether you absolutely love football or despise it to its very core, there is something fairly unique about its popularity. Standing under the giant lights that illuminate your high school’s football field, watching as the ball gets launched into the air towards the receiver running towards the touchdown, and screaming your head off when they score, what could be better? You have to admit, it does sound a little fun. But, that isn’t everything football has to offer. For the people watching and playing, it’s a break from the hustle and bustle of school and academics. It’s a way for everyone to relieve stress, and enjoy something that they love, or to try something that they may not know they like. And for some, it’s the opportunity to play at the next level.
If you think high school football is big, it’s a drop in the ocean compared to the titan that is college football. Just imagine, instead of a hundred people watching a game, it could be a hundred thousand, cheering, yelling, and screaming all at once. But you don’t have to imagine these things. Take the University of Michigan, for example. Their stadium, called the Big House, can seat 107,000 people, with room to spare! Or Beaver Stadium, out on the east coast, home to Penn State University. Their stadium regularly holds over 100,000 people, and when you look across the stands, it is a sea of white and blue. But if the cold and snow don’t appeal to you that much, take a trip out to California and visit the Rose Bowl Stadium, where the UCLA Bruins play football. You could also go to the University of Southern California, and watch the Trojans play in the historic LA Coliseum. It may not hold 100,000 people, but the pride for the school makes up for it tenfold. And it’s also better than UCLA (alright I may be a bit biased since I go there).
The point I am trying to make is that football isn’t just another activity. It’s a way for everyone to bond with each other, whether you watch or compete. It unites entire schools in a competitive spirit that is healthy and fun, and allows you to make memories that very well could last a lifetime.
About Izaak Garcia
Izaak Garcia is currently a freshman at the University of Southern California, majoring in Cinema and Media Studies with a minor in Applied Cybersecurity. He has played soccer with FC Peoria, Dunlap, and Richwoods for over a decade combined. Garcia has also played tennis for 4 years, securing a spot on both junior varsity and varsity teams. Along with this, he has competed with the Richwoods Worldwide Youth Science and Engineering team for Biology and English for 2 years and earned multiple awards for the school. Garcia is also heavily involved with the arts. As a multi-instrumentalist, he has played the saxophone for 8 years and piano for 2 years. During his junior year of high school, he was involved in theater at Richwoods as stage crew and manager. He helped with two productions and was being trained to be stage manager for senior year before the COVID-19 pandemic impacted school. Outside of school activities, Garcia is involved in Jack and Jill of America (an organization for young African American men and women to serve the community). He served as his chapter’s treasurer during his freshman year of high school. Along with Jack and Jill of America, he enjoys coding, learning new languages, and playing video games.
Art by Ellie Kraemer
Ellie Kraemer is a sophomore and an animation major at Bradley University who lives and breathes her artwork. Becoming a professional artist and animator has been a goal of hers for many years, as various works of digital art and experience have held a pivotal role in her life. Intrigued by the diverse storytelling prowess of interactive media, she aims to get involved in the productions of visuals for video games and animated series after graduation. You can find more of her work at ekraemer.myportfolio.com.