Athens Drive football begins season in spring


Photos by @athensjags instagram

Health officials hope to be able to return to full capacity athletic events by the end of 2021.

The ADHS football team began its season in February for the first time this school year, opening with a 24-6 road loss against Hillside High School Feb. 25. Senior quarterback Duke Carroll connected on a 25 yard touchdown pass to fellow senior Myles Void, putting the Jaguars on the scoreboard. Although they did not come home with a win, players and coaches were eager to be back on the field.

“We have been waiting for this moment for over a year, and when we finally got to go out there, I had a huge adrenaline rush,” said Mitchell Huggins, senior. 

The North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) announced prior to the school year that the football season would be played in the spring instead of fall due to coronavirus concerns. This gave players a lot of extra time to prepare and condition themselves, although in-person activities did not begin until December and the first practice was not held until Feb. 8. This season spectator limits are set at 375 fans, with a maximum of 100 fans from the visiting team. The new, quieter environment requires the team to bring their own energy and also allows for better communication on the field. 

“We have a lot of players who have varsity game experience, which paired with the excitement and hunger of finally playing football after a 15 month layoff is a great combination for an exciting year for Athens Drive Football,” said Jeremy Fullbright, head coach.

The Jaguars got their first win of the season March 5 against Green Level High School 24-6. Daniel “Prince” Iluyomade led the way, posting a “hat trick” with his first three rushing touchdowns of the season, putting the jags on top. There are two home games scheduled for this season—March 19 against Riverside and April 1 against Jordan. Tickets for home games can be purchased on the GoFan app, and attendees must confirm that they have not tested positive for coronavirus and have not been in close contact with someone who tested positive.

“I’m very proud of how our players have handled all of the logistical changes that they can’t control, and are keeping their focus and energy on the things they can control,” said Fullbright.