After being sidelined by COVID-19, football returns in Delray

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Football is back in Delray Beach.

Bernard Wright, who has served as the Delray Rocks president for the past 10 years, has been encouraged with the turnout since they began holding free football camps in the spring and have been practicing in pads since early July.

Last year’s American Youth Football League season was wiped out because of the pandemic, so Wright said the Rocks players needed to get back out on the gridiron.

“This is big for the kids,” Wright said. “There are a lot of kids that didn’t get an opportunity to do much because of COVID last year. They can finally get out of the house and do some type of organized sports, which is a good thing.”

The Rocks started officially organized practices on July 1 at Pompey Park and Wright anticipates the program will have nearly 270 players and cheerleaders this season. Most of the participants come from Fort Lauderdale south to Wellington west in addition to the neighboring cities.

“The kids had a year off and didn’t really do anything, so the main focus of the clinics was to get their bodies conditioned for football,” Wright said. “We have a lot of new kids out this year. We have some that have never played football before.”

The Rocks will play a 10-game season that begins on Aug. 14 when it hosts Plantation. The playoffs will begin on Oct. 30, culminating with the Super Bowl on Nov. 13.

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