ROCKFORD, Mich. — Just glad to be back under the lights.
That's the theme at Rockford's Ted Carlson Memorial Stadium, which athletes affectionately call "The Ted."
"It’s really a dream of mine ... since I was little," says senior captain Luke Mclean. "I always looked at the field, and guys would be wearing the nice cool jerseys and stuff, so it’s really an honor to be a captain of this team and actually playing on Friday nights. It’s really an honor."
A limited crowd will be watching them in stadium Fridays. Each football player and cheerleader is allowed to give out two tickets. Their guests will be socially distanced, sitting on marked X's in the stands.
"Usually the Ted’s packed on Friday night ,and the fact that there is not going to be as many people there will definitely be different," says senior captain Ben Tadych. "But we’re not going to try to let that faze us or make us play worse. We’re just going to try to focus up and play."
These players are overwhelmingly positive. And humble.
"I consider all those guys brothers to me," Tadych notes.
This is a comradery and mentality heavily influenced by the Ram's new head coach, Brent Cummings.
"When we first were shut down back in March, you think about the isolation and think about, you know, what these kids had to endure."
"There's so many different things and valuable lessons that you get from the sport," Coach Cummings tells us. "And to have that taken away, that can be hard to swallow. And that was very impactful. You could see it: the hurt in the kids' eyes. To see (football) reinstated , it means a lot, because we know that we are truly offering a great important service in these kids' lives."
Don your jersey, grab a snack, and support these Rams from home. Friday night's game will be live-streamed online and over the radio.
"Very excited, especially because we thought was gonna not gonna happen this Fall. So we're pumped," says senior captain Alex Karas.
"We’re still gonna go out there and play like normal. Se’re gonna get after it," Mclean says.
"I'm ready right now," adds Tadych.
Kick-off for the Rams home opener against Jenison is at 6 p.m.
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