Column: Reasons we should Celebrate

Published 7:03 pm Friday, February 5, 2021

Family and friends filled the gym of Adams County Christian School and the Steckler Building at Natchez high school to celebrate eight young men in this community on Wednesday.

These eight young men each signed letters of intent to play football at the next level. We should celebrate the five players from ACCS, and the three players from Natchez who overcame so many obstacles in a season defined by COVID.

One of the major obstacles they overcame was in their recruitment. COVID changed the guidelines colleges had to navigate in order to recruit players, and it also gave NCAA athletes an additional year of eligibility.

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This extra year of eligibility limited the amount of space available on college rosters. Yet, these eight players earned the opportunity to play at the next level. One of those players will play football at a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics school in Kentucky.

Seven of the players will be taking the field for community colleges, which is an opportunity to celebrate because they have the chance to work their way onto a Division One football team.

Any opportunity to play football, or any other sport, should be celebrated no matter the level you are able to compete at. Those days of competition should not be taken for granted, because you never know when or how long they will be gone.

A generation of college football fans can recall when EA Sports stopped producing their video game NCAA Football eight years ago.

EA Sports announced this Tuesday they would resume producing the college football video game formerly known as NCAA Football, after an eight-year hiatus. It is not clear when the game will return, but the fact it is returning is the second reason to celebrate this week.

The video game allowed gamers to play football with college football teams. A college player who is on the roster in the game could then play as himself in the game.

After production of the game ended in 2013, it meant a whole generation of athletes like Joe Burrow and Baker Mayfield could not play as themselves in NCAA Football.

With the game returning, it means the eight kids taking the first step in their college football journey this week, will finally have an opportunity to play as themselves.

In addition to kids having the chance to play as themselves in a video game, the news means a generation of gamers like myself can once again have the opportunity to play on a college football field. An opportunity to play is always celebrated, even if it is a virtual one.


Hunter Cloud is a sports reporter for The Natchez Democrat.