A chat with a high school athlete preparing for a fall sports season amid the coronavirus pandemic. Today, Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley football player ISAIAH CHATMAN, who will be a senior next season.
What has it been like to be involved with a team that’s captured two state championships in the last three seasons?
It’s been a lot of fun to be around that and to kind of be taught by the older kids when I was younger. Even though I didn’t play much back then, it was still a lot of fun. Along with the state championships, it was a lot of fun to be around and a good learning experience.
Taking a bigger role at running back and defensive end, how would you assess the 2019 season?
Last year was a big step up for me. I went from not playing very much, and then I had a lot of playing time on the field and had a big part on defense. It was a lot of fun.
How do you feel like the team is looking for the 2020 season?
I feel like we have a lot of people coming back, a lot of younger kids. And we have (Washington State recruiting target Aidan) Laughery — just a lot of people coming back. So I feel like the teams aren’t really comparable, but we have a lot of good stuff to look forward to.
How have you dealt with this time away from your teammates?
At first it was a concern, just if we were going to have our season or not. But all the guys have been working really hard, and whether we have it or not we’ll be prepared. It concerns me a little bit because we don’t get to build that team bond that’s really important in football — just to have that sense of family.
What are your expectations for the team and yourself in 2020?
I feel like there’s a lot of pressure to go back to state again because we did it for two years, and we just fell a little bit short last year. But I’m hoping we can do that again and, of course, be conference champs as well. I want to improve a lot on defense. Offense, I want to run the ball a little bit more.
What has it meant to you to represent this team?
It really means a lot to be able to represent such a small town and have a sense of community. I feel like playing football here is something special. The community is one big family.