Oct.14, 2021 — It’s been an uphill climb to get on the football field for the students and coaches at Mapleton middle and high schools. MHS was forced to cancel its tackle football season due to COVID, injuries and low student turnout.
McKenzie High faced the same hurdles.
A way for both schools to get their kids on the field was found when the teams agreed to play two flag football games, one at each’s home field. The first game between the two teams was played on Oct. 8. Though it was a rainy evening in Mapleton, both teams were excited to get the chance to play football, in any form.
Kids from Mapleton’s middle and high schools formed the team that was coached by Tyler Krueger and Tucker Ford. The MHS squad included: Devon Wilkinson (grade 6), Ayden Jenkins (7), Roenin Webb-Barrows (7), Asher Geil (8), Alex Burnett (9), Keevyn Walker (10), Mason Flansberg (11), Emily Neece (11) and Jeff Bernhardt (11).
The game was forced to be called at halftime when McKenzie coach Jack Devereaux collapsed on the field and was taken away by ambulance. Devereaux was released from the hospital Saturday morning and is on the mend.
“They're running more test today and tomorrow,” said Devereaux. “I feel way better. I was truly scared. I'm glad I was around friends and family. Thank you to everyone who was concerned. … I wish we could have finished the game.”
The Sailors and Eagles will meet again on Friday, Oct. 15, this time at McKenzie High in Vida.