Jack Scoma ‘21
Michael Yu ’21 is a three-year varsity football player who played the corner back position for Big Red. Jack Scoma ’21 sat down with Yu to discuss this how the COVID-19 pandemic impacted his senior season.
Jack Scoma: How was the 2021 football season considering the circumstances we find ourselves in with COVID-19?
Michael Yu: I felt that although we did not get to play any real games this past season, the practices and workouts we did as a team were beneficial in so many ways to continuing the improvement of Lawrenceville football, and personally as individual players. We all had an idea that the season was not going to happen, and a benefit of this was that we kept our heads down and focused on making the best of the situation at hand. Obviously, we would have loved to play against some of our rivals and other schools, but with what was going on, the season was quite strong.
JS: How did Head Varsity Football Coach Harry Flaherty and the rest of his staff make up for the lost games with practices and lifts?
MY: Coach Flaherty and the other coaches on the staff did a tremendous job at making up for the lack of games we were having. As anyone who plays football knows, practice can be the most fun of times and the hardest of times. We typically participated in agility drills that helped us work on footwork and speed, which is very important as football players. One of the most fun drills we did was when we did one-on-ones. It brought out the intensity that was missing because of COVID, and allowed for players to challenge one another to the best of their abilities. The same went for seven-on-sevens where receivers and corners were going against each other daily.
JS: Is there a particular player you are excited to watch in the future, as you will be graduating at the end of this year?
MY: One player that I am really excited to continue watching throughout the next couple years in Aidan Kilfeather ‘22. One thing that stands out about him is how strong he has become. I have worked out and lifted with Aidan myself, and it is impressive to see the strides he’s made just at his time at school. He is definitely someone that I am going to keep my eye out for.
JS: Finally, what was one of your favorite memories regarding your football experience at school? Any past players that helped shape your own game?
MY: The leadership from the Class of 2019 really helped us as a team and put us in good spirits.
My sophomore year here at Lawrenceville was a tremendous time for me. The team was filled with guys that were great leaders, and genuinely wanted to see me improve. Two players that I will personally remember were Diassa Diakite ’19 and Caleb Weber ‘19, two Ivy League football players, at Harvard and Cornell respectively. Both guys were the first ones to tell me whether I had done something right, and if not, instead of yelling at me, they would critique me and show me how to fix my steps, approach to the ball, etc. Without their help, I don’t believe that I would be where I am today.
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