Stands Packed for Return of Friar Night Lights

     On Friday, August 27, Triton College was packed to the brim with students, teachers, families and alumni decked out in all black. Fenwick Friar Night Lights is back and better than ever. Due to COVID-19, the 2020 football season was postponed until the spring of 2021. Even when the season happened in the spring, there was a limited number of fans allowed and face masks had to be worn. Whether it be playing for the team or watching from the bleachers, football is what many students look forward to at Fenwick. Coach Tracy Bonaccorsi, head of football operations, gives an insight as to what the Friars can expect for the 2021 football season. 

     With the season starting in the midst of the COVID pandemic and the new Delta variant going around, everyone thought that football would have more limitations and restrictions; however, that is not the case. Coach Bonaccorsi said, “I would say the season is as close to ‘normal’ as we’ve seen for quite some time now. The players and coaches are doing a great job following the protocols at all times.” At Triton College, where Fenwick’s home games take place, they are also following the COVID guidelines given by the IDPH. Face masks are required when indoors, so wearing one is optional for all spectators attending. Additional precautions still need to be taken in order to ensure the safety of both the players and the fans when not on the field. “The nurses and trainers at Fenwick have done a great job keeping everyone safe throughout this pandemic. They help us stay on top of the latest updates and protocols…” said Coach Bonaccorsi.

     There are also a lot of emotions, especially considering the fact that fall football did not take place last year. “After all the planning and preparation, it definitely feels good to be back to fall football and [Friar] Night Lights this year,” said Coach Bonaccorsi. “There is still some extra work that goes into a regular game day due to COVID, but seeing the kids back out on the field and happy makes it all worth it!” After only a small number of fans were allowed to attend the games last spring, more and more fans were eager to attend the first two games this season. Coach Bonaccorsi, who also sells football tickets at lunch, said that tons of students have been showing up to the cafeteria each Friday to buy their ticket. “I’ve been blown away by the student sections the last two games, and it has been awesome being able to see Friars supporting Friars!” Bonaccorsi said.

Josephine Pfeiffer

     The graduating class of 2022, the Fenwick seniors, have been the ones leading the student section to support the varsity football team. With all the cheering, chanting and fun themes, Friday night football is definitely where you want to be. “I can’t wait to watch it continue throughout the season, we missed having a packed stadium last year!” said Coach Bonaccorsi.  The varsity football team has already started off strong, bringing home two wins. Fenwick football is back and is here to stay!