Edina Football hosts a field day with Hornet Connections

Emma Bailey, staff writer

Edina’s Hornet Connections program is filled with professionals that run the school’s specialized education program, but this learning takes place far beyond the classroom. On Monday, October 3rd, Hornet Connections and the Edina Varsity Football Team came together to enjoy a unified game. “We have a very strong inclusion program at Edina. We have about 150 students that participate in it, but I think that this is a great opportunity to bring more students into it,” said Lisa Hanson, one of Edina’s special education teachers.

Before the event, Edina Football’s Head Coach Reed Boltmann showed the players a video of another school doing something similar, and the players wanted to do something alike in Edina. “The whole team thought it was really cool and thought that it would be a nice experience to give back,” said Matt Cavanagh, a sophomore defensive back.

The Varsity boys split off into groups resembling the positions they usually play and did drills pretty similar to the ones they usually do at practice. “We practiced stripping the ball; so, someone would hold the ball and the kids would try and knock it out of [someone’s] arms,” said Cavanagh. They began with the basics, but by the end of the night everyone on the field was a pro, touchdowns and all. Ryan Hunt, a sophomore at Edina whose favorite side of the ball is defense, was very excited for the game and loves everything about football. Everyone at the game was really happy to be there, whether they were observing or participating.

Overall, the drills weren’t too different from the ones the players normally do at practice, but this particular practice was much more spirited and gratifying. “I think it’s a good opportunity for the kids and I think it is super fun to see them get involved,” said Elisabeth Thompson, an EHS cheerleader. The game tied together two groups that don’t normally get to hang out together, and the outcome was remarkable.