The Rail


Reese Henne

The senior boys football team poses with Coach Baum after a game.

Reese Henne, Sports Editor

The 2020 football season ended with an overall record of 5-3; however, the best win in the book this year would be against “that team out west.” “The Rail,” a trophy given to the winner of the Hoover-Jackson game each year. As Hoover was victorious this year, The Rail currently resides in the football locker room.
“The Battle of The Rail is one of the longest rivalries in Stark County between us and Jackson,” senior Drew Robinson said. “The Rail, which is super heavy, is awarded to the winner of the game.”
The Rail was the idea of Jackson athletic director Mr. Dan Michel, a Hoover alum.
The name refers to the railroad tracks that run parallel with Whipple Ave., serving as the division of the two communities.
This season was very different from the others due to COVID. One positive of this was the choice to watch football games online; live streaming the game gave family members from all over to watch the game
“My favorite part about watching the football games at home was that I could be anywhere and do anything while watching it,” junior Gina Cardinale said. “Resting on the couch with tons of blankets and unlimited access to heat seemed to make the games much more enjoyable than standing for hours outside in 40-degree weather.”
There were also negatives that came with it. There was a limited amount of tickets given at games, which meant a smaller fan base. This also meant that there would be a small student section.
“It seemed unreal watching it online versus going to the game and cheering the boys on in person from the student section,” Cardinale said. “It’s crazy how much more one can experience being at the game in person with other fans all around you. That’s the excitement that any football games bring that you can’t experience at home on a screen.”
Amidst all the changes a group of the senior boys still got together for dinner on Thursday nights.
“We all get together around 3:30 at Grandma Barb’s,” he said. “We all have our own little pre-game routines like Beau’s crazy socks, my Body Armor, and Connor’s weird songs. But she makes us the best pasta in the world, and we just all talk about what’s going on in our lives more than we talk about football. It’s more of a bonding time than just a team feed.”
Due to COVID, there were many changes in how the team got ready for the season. Coach Baum said they weren’t able to have a team camp this year. Coaches spent a lot of time with small groups in the workout room. On the other hand, not only did the team captains step up but the entire senior class did in order to bring the team together in a difficult time.
“This year was nothing like anything I have ever dealt with in sports,” Robinson said. “Going into August, we were still unsure about whether or not we were going to have any games at all. It made the bonds between your teammates extra special and brought everyone together to work towards one goal.”
With all the changes this year brought the season looked different than most.
“Every single senior was happy that we were at least able to play,” Robinson said. “Whether it’s six games or 10 in the regular season, we enjoyed every last minute of it. It truly turned into a special season.” n