The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / Football writer David Burnworth describes what it was like covering a crazy COVID High School Football season

Football writer David Burnworth describes what it was like covering a crazy COVID High School Football season

A season covering high school football!

Introducing myself to the Grueling Truth Audience


The 2020 football season was one to forget because of the covid-19 virus that caused some teams to postpone their seasons, while other teams canceled theirs together. For many, A season did get played but again it was not what we have come to knows as A  full season. Myself, going into this season my goal was to take in 113 full games. You ask why 113? Well, my best was 112 games during the 2019 year. Just to put some clarification on how I go about getting so many games. I go to all-star games, grid games in Kentucky, events with multiple games each day.  I have gone as far west as Iowa to watch their twelve games, As far as South as Texas to watch all twelve of their state final games, and as far east to New York to watch all five games of the section six finals. My final game total this year was a measly 52 games. I was only able to see games here in Ohio along with trips to Indiana and Pennslyvania. I still have A trip, A first-ever trip to Mississippi to watch all of their state finals games in December.


My season kicked off with my first ever trip to Northeastern high school in Fountain City, Indiana. The matchup was Northeastern hosting Union County. By the time the game was over I knew I had got to see one of the best players I was going to see all season, that player was the do-everything stud named Mason Wickler for the road team. Wickler led his troops to A 53-15 win. I won’t go into each game that I went to this season but after reading this you can look me up on Facebook ( Burnworth David) there you can see pics from all 52 games and with each picture album is A link to A game report.


The place I went to most this season was Baonebridge, Ohio to watch the Paint Valley Bearcats. I have been watching Bearcats games since the ’90s so it is A place I try to hit every year. With this year being iffy as far as media and fans being allowed to I made A deal with the Bearcats head coach Corey Dye to cover all of their home games. He and Coach Cooper was gracious enough game. In all, I saw 6 Bearcats games including two road games.


The season brought me 25 new teams and 27 new locations. Of the new places McGuffey, Pa. stuck out because of the grey turf along with Harrison Central because they too have grey turf. McGuffey had been on my places to see list since back in the late ’90s when I had A job traveling throughout Pa. along with several other states. Of the new teams I got to see, two stick out. Columbus Crusaders and Landmark Christian. Both for different reasons. For Columbus, it was they were playing at their little stadium instead of at the college where they usually play, and for Landmark Christian, I had, had them on my list way before they started playing As A home school. I must say as A member of the media (PAFOOTBALLNEWS) I was treated as well as I ever have been by both schools. Coach Goodpaster even came up in the stands to speak with me the 2nd time I watched his team play and they treated me to dinner at the game.


One good thing for me as far as covering the games goes that this year gave me was, the Columbus City League played a lot of Thursday and Saturday afternoon games. That allowed me to cover at least one game each week in the league including the city championship game between Walnut Ridge and Eastmoor Academy. Walnut Ridge without their starting quarterback still won (14-6). I think for me personally this the highlights of the season were meeting Coach Dye and Coach Goodpastor. Both went way beyond anything expected as far as the treatment they gave me. I will see God willing both coaches at least twice next season.


Looking ahead to 2021 I plan on 113 games and there are three teams I hope to see for the first time. Plum out of Pa. and Sciotoville East out of Portsmouth, Ohio.

I have trips to Kentucky, Pa, New York, Indiana, Texas, and Iowa planned. If the schedule plays out the way I hope Minnesota, Tennessee, and Georgia could be added.

Before I say good-bye I wanted to add though I cover these games as A member of the media, I would be going to the games as A fan if I was not covering them as A member of the media.

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