As cases rise, football forfeits

Knights forfeit playoff game against Jones following mandatory quarantine

The Knights’ 2020-2021 season comes to an abrupt end after forfeiting a playoff game against Jones High School. The game was scheduled for Nov. 13, part of the 2020 FHSAA State Championship. After a player contracted Robinson’s 10th COVID-19 case, the Knights forfeited for safety purposes. The forfeit signals a conclusion to the regular and playoff season. The Knights will be ending 5-4, as the forfeited game falls under defeat.

Some key players were already out for Robinson vs. Leto on Nov. 6. The following day, a “COVID situation,” as head coach Craig Everhart described, occurred. This event left the rest of the team in quarantine; they will not be able to return until after Thanksgiving break.

“It’s a difficult predicament and definitely not [how] we expected or wanted our season to end, we’ve worked so hard since June to get to a playoff game and to not be able to play, it is devastating especially for all our seniors,” defensive tackle and team captain Humberto Garzaro (21) said. “But overall safety is top priority and [I] am glad we could complete our regular season schedule.”

Jones High School maintains a 7-0 record from the forfeit. Based in Orlando, this team would’ve been an exciting challenge for the Knights.

“This team proved many peoples’ opinions wrong and progressively the team has only gotten younger, year after year, and seeing underclassmen step up to the plate and do their best was very nostalgic,” Garzaro (center) expressed. (Photo Jennifer Le)

“We were scheduled to play the 18th ranked team in the country according to USA Today,” Everhart said. “[It] would have been a huge challenge but a great playoff experience, our kids would have fought hard.”

For the team, the 2020-2021 season was already unconventional. Precautions were taken to maintain safety in midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the uncertainty, the Knights charged ahead, with a 4-0 record until facing Jesuit on Oct. 16. Regardless of this unexpected ending, the team remembers this season warmly.

“We fought a lot of adversity and as a team and the way we would overcome it was very impressive,” Garzaro said. “This year’s team was a real brotherhood and there’s a lot of camaraderie in that locker room…that’s something I’ll always cherish.”

From quarantined players to unfamiliar methods to stay safe, the Knights have experienced a season like no other. Their accomplishments highlight the 2020-2021 season as one to remember.

“It was a challenging season with COVID but I am happy that our kids had the chance to play,” Everhart said. “Every game that we got was a blessing.”