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OUTER CAPE PORTRAIT /  Football Dreams




Aidan Handville is captain of the Nauset High School football team. This fall, because of COVID, there’s no regular football season, and it’s still uncertain if football will be played this winter and spring.  And so, Aidan is still trying to stay in shape and hoping for a chance to keep his dreams of high school football alive. Here’s Aidan in his words.  Please listen!


     I am a tight end. What I do is I block on the line for my quarterbacks and running backs in the backfield behind me. And sometimes I go out for a route and catch the ball. Potentially, the quarterback will throw to me, or he'll throw to the wider receivers. And hopefully, we get a touchdown out of it. That's on the offensive side. On the defensive side, I contain any running play that the offense likes to sweep outside, and I try and sack the quarterback, sack the running back, so they don't advance across the line of scrimmage.

I guess you could say I'm a go-getter. Personality wise, I like hard work. If I'm offered up an opportunity, I'll go after it. And that projects in myself playing football, because you're not going to sit back and let the other team score. You gotta chase down the other team and really put in your all.

 I remember putting on my first football uniform. I was on the track field at the middle school, and it was suiting up day, where we were gathering all our gear, preparing for the season to start.  Back then, I was definitely a skinnier guy, and I put on -- we call it uppers.

Uppers are the chest protection pads. My first set was way too big. I put on a smaller one that was way too small. And then I fit just right in a large-sized chest protection. And I felt powerful wearing that suit, for real. And then putting my helmet on, it was just another step in feeling powerful. It was a great feeling.

Playing football allows you to get away from training your brain during the day. It's really a good outlet for releasing stress of schoolwork. It allows you to let it all out, really.

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     So, last spring, yeah, right at that moment, the date of March 16th, the day that they canceled all classes, it all set in for us. It was a Friday, I believe, when that idea of potentially not having a football season struck a note with us football guys. It was like a shock wave.

Before the interruption of COVID, I thought that myself and my other teammates and the junior class collectively would experience senior year as my upperclassmen experienced their senior years. Underclassmen dream of being like the Kings and Queens of the school. The homecoming game, playing at home on the Nauset turf, really, it brings a sense of joy. You get to show your greatness in the moment. That's how I imagined it would happen.

Wanting and dreaming to have this experience of being a senior, our class being a City upon a Hill that underclassmen look up to and follow. And having it kind of fall through is like the worst feeling. The dream of having a senior year, I still haven't really let it go. I'm still holding onto it. Having this idea for so long and not having my moment to shine, it's kind of like someone took something from me that I can't get back.

It's kind of, hmmm, I don't know how to describe it, really. It's kind of indescribable. If I wasn't able to play football my senior year of high school, I would feel like I wouldn't have left high school on a good note. COVID definitely, I feel grief towards, or have grievances towards, for taking away my senior year.

* * * *

     The hope I have for this school year is that eventually everything gets back to normal. Everything was so great. And I didn't realize it. I'm sad that I didn't take more advantage of what I had before this COVID epidemic.

So, on the positive side of things, our coach and the staff are hoping to have football be played in the spring. Beginning late February and spanning into April is what they're going to try and propose and shoot for.

I'm staying in shape by running around the neighborhood. And I'm lucky enough to be in a household where a gym is in the basement. I'm working out every other day for the hope that the season is given back to us.

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