With the global outbreak of COVID-19 now lingering into summer, Fenwick High School’s football program will not be traveling to Dublin, Ireland on August 28 like it initially planned earlier in January.

The Friars were set to play Scottsdale, Arizona’s Notre Dame Prep during a trip organized by the school.

“As time moved on, it was inevitable that the trip would be canceled,” said Fenwick’s athletic director, Scott Thies, in an interview with Wednesday Journal on June 18. “It was just a matter of communicating with the players’ families, the organizing group and the travel company and ending it in a proper manner but we knew that once the winter and spring sport seasons were canceled that it was going to be tough to make this work.”

The showcase was to have included two days in Dublin (Aug. 26-27) along with the players being in attendance for the matchup between Navy and University of Notre Dame at the Aviva Stadium on Aug. 29. That game has also been canceled.

Junior wide receiver Max Reese and his teammates understood the decision but were hoping for a different outcome.

“[Finding out the news] stunk,” said Reese in a phone interview with the Journal on June 18. “The whole team was looking forward to Ireland, experiencing the Irish culture and being able to play Notre Dame Prep. But we have a good week one game against a very talented Simeon team, so we are focused on that.”

However, in more positive news, the team has been practicing since Monday under the IHSA’s Return to Play guidelines that state that teams can only conduct strength and conditioning workouts. After a couple months in quarantine, the Friars are getting back to business.

“It’s great to just go out and be with my friends, teammates and everyone again,” said Reese. “It’s great being a part of a team culture again. I am excited to get in full pads because we are going to have a great team this year.”

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