Melrose-Mindoro moving past 2020 season derailed by COVID quarantines

Senior class encouraged after offseason spent in weight room

We continue getting prepped for high school football season by taking a look at the Dairyland Conference.

Melrose-Mindoro football will have 41 guys out for a full fall season.

Raef Radcliffe returns to lead the rushing attack after racking up seven yards a carry. His teammates say he’s been destroying the weight room this summer.

Incoming sophomore Braydon Lockington will take the QB spot after starting two games last year for Tucker Sbraggia.

Were it not for COVID-19, Melrose-Mindoro may have contended for a Dairyland title last fall. But the reality was several key players, Radcliffe included, were sidelined by COVID -related quarantine protocols in the final few weeks. The players say the fear of an outbreak had an impact on the field, to the point where lining up next to each other was nerve-wracking.

“We weren’t necessarily totally focused on the game. We wanted to avoid getting quarantine,” said senior Drew DeBerg, who’s coming off a broken foot last season.

“At least seven or eight kids out for two weeks of the year [had to quarantine,]” senior Ty Patterson said. “But this year it just shows how many kids want to play football. Lot of kids last year gave up, weren’t going to the weight room, and now this year we’ve got a lot more kids, knowing we have a full season this year.”

The senior class is excited for a chance to end their high school careers with a full season, and they believe a Dairyland title is within reach.

“It’s going to take all of us,” Radcliffe said. “A lot of us have been getting into the weight room, pushing ourselves hard to make a comeback and trying to get that conference title back.”

Melrose-Mindoro opens the season at Bangor Aug. 20.