The Connecticut Independent High School Football League played one of its last full-contact games of the year on Friday.
The league hoped to continue through November but the state released new guidelines that ban games for high-risk sports until 2021. That will force the Connecticut Independent High School Football League to shut down when the rules go into effect on Sunday at midnight.
However, the athletes did get one more chance to take the field Friday at Falcon Field in Meriden.
“I never considered not having this game,” said league organizer Mark Siems. “It’s the last hurrah. If they do decide to go forward with spring sports, these kids will be playing other sports and this is it for them to get film and the opportunity. We have to keep pushing.”
Southington defeated Hartford 34-21 to cap off the season for both teams. Hartford’s team is made up of students from a handful of schools in the area.
“I knew this might be the last time we play football,” said East Hartford runningback Malik Bennett. “It’s not a guarantee that we’re playing football in the spring and I just had to come out here and give it everything we got.”
“You know it still hasn’t hit me yet that this could have been my last game in a Knights uniform but we’re going to keep a positive mindset for the wedge season,” said Southington senior quarterback Brady Lafferty. “I hope we get that in.”
The Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC) is still planning for a spring football season but if that falls through, the CIHSFL is ready to resume its season in the spring. League organizers say they have had zero infections related to gameplay between 17 teams, comprising of more than 500 student-athletes.