LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — One of the painful effects of the pandemic is the impact it has had on the vibrant sports community in Southern Nevada. Las Vegas athletes are struggling to find active outlets and pursue dreams of continuing sports in college.
Competitors want nothing more than a shot. Thousands of talented Las Vegans have been kept on the sidelines as their peers around the country play on.
This is the struggle of three young men fighting for a football future.
It was supposed to look like this…
…the satisfaction of achievement only surpassed by sensational ambience.
Instead, it looked like this…
A football loving desert decimated about a pandemic — and any chance to shine shutdown.
“Football season is the best time of my life, you know?” said JaShawn Scroggins. “School is fun, shoot, everything was fun. You built bonds that last forever.”
Thirty-five states played football with strict COVID-19 guidelines in the fall. Nevada was not one of them.
Several others added a truncated spring session. Nevada punted.
Centennial senior quarterback Colton Tenney led the Bulldogs to the state championship game. He threw for 27 touchdowns and colleges craved more.
Do it again they said.
“I’m 5’11” on a good day. I don’t run a 4.4. I can’t throw the ball 80 yards, but I’m a good football player,” Tenney said. “It’s frustrating to try to get recruit through the process where they just look at these tangibles — how tall you are, how fast you are — when I have good film. So, it’s frustrating to not get that extra year in film.”
Colton’s college plans are still in limbo.
The same goes for Charron Thomas. The Palo Verde running back had 1200 yards rushing last year and the respect of all of his peers.
“When I first got my jersey and I first played my game, scored my first touchdown, it was always a dream of mine to be able to play college football,” Thomas said.
Charon is going to gamble with junior college. So is his workout partner and one-time rival — JaShawn Scroggins.
The Las Vegas High highlight reel had division one interest as a junior, but those schools went with prospects in states that played.
“They start calling you every week, to not calling you at all,” Scroggins said.
The class of 2021 will have success without ceremony, but strength is defined by those who keep going.
If they are working during the pause, just wait until they press play.
Feeling left out in football is merely a snapshot of a troubling picture.
Encourage those struggling with mental health to talk about it. Better days are ahead.