COVID-19 brings in two new football coaches

Returning Robinson athletes, now CFL players, return to coach this season

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Photo Emma Geerholt

Frankie Williams coaches the football team at practice after school.

Hanna Malone, Sports Editor

With the cancellation of the Canadian Football League season due to COVID-19, Frankie Williams and Greg Ellingson have returned to their alma mater to give back to their community and coach the Robinson High School football team this year as a part of the official coaching staff.

“When our season got cancelled, I was talking to Frankie Williams and we just talked about what we could do to be around football and what we could do to give back to our community in the six months that we usually would be playing,” Ellingson said. “So, I reached out to Everhart and we had a talk on what Williams and I could do to be involved.”

For some background on the two, Ellingson, a wide receiver for the Edmonton Eskimos, graduated from Robinson in 2007. Before playing for Edmonton, he played for Florida International University. He later spent four years on the Ottawa Redblacks and two years for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. In his career, he has also played for the New Orleans VooDoo and Tampa Bay Storm.

Williams, however, graduated later from Robinson in 2011. From there, he attended Purdue University in Indiana and played for the Boilers. When he graduated from college in 2017, Williams went on to play for the Indianapolis Colts and was eventually picked up by CFL; he now plays defensive-back returner for Hamilton and has been playing professionally for a total of five years.

Though grateful for the opportunity to coach and continue being around their sport, the repercussions of COVID-19 have taken an emotional toll on the CFL players at large. The circumstances are far from ideal, but they are working hard to retain a positive mindset.

“[Before the the CFL season was officially cancelled] I was kind of hearing rumors about it, and now I’m still accepting it, man, to be honest with you,” Williams said. “It sucks, but I’m just grateful for the opportunity to come out here and help give back.”