HUDSON, N.H. — There have been protests here in Connecticut as it became apparent that a normal high school football season wouldn’t be happening.
Now many schools are taking part in 7-on-7 football. While some football might be better than no football, explaining that to linemen who aren’t a part of 7-on-7 drills isn’t always easy, even when there are challenges built into the events.
New Hampshire, the only New England state playing an 11-on-11 full-contact high school football season, contemplated going the 7-on-7 route as well before figuring out a way to start playing full contact.
“That was one of the things we talked about when everything was being discussed,” said Tarek Rothe, head coach of Alvirne High School in Hudson, N.H. “We had the possibility of 7-on-7 and what we discussed, my big concern was how do we involve the linemen so there isn’t anybody who feels left out or not a part of the team.”
The old interception turns into offensive fumble recovery on final play of 1st half as Goffstown leads Alvirne 21-0 pic.twitter.com/XqErbqBvpm
— Jim Fuller (@NHRJimFuller) October 3, 2020
Alvirne junior Alex Lawson is an offensive and defensive lineman and the type of player who could be on the outside looking in had New Hampshire opted to pursue a 7-on-7 format in the fall.
“It would suck,” Lawson said before Alvirne lost its 2020 home opener to Goffstown on Friday night. “The big guys wouldn’t be able to hit, they wouldn’t be able to do anything and it would just be the skill (players) and they would have all the fun without us.”
Alvirne is off to an 0-2 start but for Rothe, knowing that New Hampshire could very well have landed in the same situation as the other New England states allows him to keep things in perspective.
“I feel lucky to be in a state that handled things right from the start, be in a district, be in an area or county to make sure that this happened for the kids,” Rothe said.
“We took a big loss last week against Salem, my wife texted me and said ‘How are you feeling?’ (He responded) ‘I got to coach a football game today, I’m OK.’ We get to have kids on the sidelines playing football and it feels great.”
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