Second Time's Not the Charm: Missing Brayden's Game and Navigating New Field Rules

It's a situation I never thought I'd find myself in, especially not for the second time: contracting COVID-19. My first brush with this disease was enough to last me a lifetime, but here I am, quarantined once again. The timing, as they say, is everything - and this couldn’t have come at a worse moment. This past weekend marked the first high school football game I missed since Brayden became a part of the team. The feeling is heart-wrenching.

The JM Robinson game was not just any game; it was a significant moment in the season, a game that Brayden and his teammates had been preparing for weeks. I envisioned capturing every tense moment, every touchdown, and every celebration on my camera. But fate had other plans. Instead, I found myself isolated, left only to imagine the roar of the crowd and the thrill of the game. 

And while the physical ailment and the emotional toll of missing Brayden's game weighed heavy on me, another cloud of concern lingered: the future of photographing the rest of the season. New rules have been introduced restricting photographers on the field. The intention might be safety, but the fallout has been noticeable. The vibrant shots that once showcased the team's spirit, the close-ups that revealed determination in a player's eyes, and the candid moments of joy and camaraderie are now harder to come by. 

I've received numerous messages from players, coaches, and parents expressing their disappointment and concern over the lack of photo coverage. For many, these photos are not just images; they are memories, tangible proof of hard work, dedication, and moments of glory that can be cherished forever.

However, as we navigate these challenging times, it's essential to remember that while rules and circumstances might change, the spirit and passion for the game remain unyielding. I'm hopeful that a middle ground can be found, one that respects safety protocols yet still allows us to capture those unforgettable moments.

To the players, coaches, and parents: I'm with you in spirit, even if I can't be on the sidelines for now. Here's to hoping for brighter days, clearer shots, and many more games to come.