Football returns to Holy Spirit Catholic School after four year hiatus

Published: Aug. 30, 2022 at 4:38 PM CDT
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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WBRC) - Football is back at one west Alabama high school after a four-year hiatus, and it didn’t have anything to do with COVID.

Although the Holy Spirit Saints are 0-2 so far this season, some believe it’s something close to a miracle they’re playing at all.

It came down to the fact the school simply didn’t have enough players to try out for the team and Holy Spirit had no choice but to shut it down. This year, it’s a whole new ballgame in more ways than one.

A ‘resurrection’ of sorts at Holy Spirit Catholic High School. Coach Bobby Synder was hired to restart the program two years ago and here we are two years later, the Saints are playing under the Friday night lights once again.

“It’s a stretch to say it’s a miracle, but it’s God-ordained. He’s had his hands on it. I mean, these players, they play hard,” said Coach Snyder.

The football program went dark four years ago and William Shields remembers it all too well as an eighth grader. The school just didn’t have enough players to participate.

“I didn’t cry, but I was super mad,” said Shields.

And so was Kalen Oswalt, the starting quarterback for the Saints.

“It was tough losing, not having homecoming football, no more Friday nights anymore,” said Oswalt.

But the game is back at Holy Spirit. More than 30 players now make up the team. Although the Saints are 0-2 on the season so far, Kalen Oswalt isn’t looking for moral victories. He wants to win, and win now.

“It really does bother me because I want to go win every game we play, you know, just go out there and play,” said Oswalt. “They don’t give up and they’re tough.”

And Bobby Synder says that may be all that matters for now in the first season back; starting over, starting from scratch again. The lessons are beginning to seep in, lessons that’ll last a lifetime.

“I always want to think about how they’re impacting others, you know. I want guys to make an impact for their schools, their jobs,” said Coach Snyder.

Making an impact on and off the field, together, for the first time in four years.

The Saints play a 10 game schedule this fall. Two down, eight to go.

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