Football returns to the Ozarks amid state re-opening

Sports

FORDLAND, Mo. — It’s been a while since we heard the crack of a bat, the blast of a horn or the crack of pads.

That comes with good reason.

The return of major contact sports is on a mysterious timetable due to COVID-19, except in the Ozarks.

“Right now, today, we found a chunk of grass, had some fellas that wanted to get after it and compete and some fans that wanted to come have a good time,” Queen City Insane Asylum football member Caleb Scott said.

While the NFL is just beginning to open facilities on a limited basis, full contact football is happening right here in our area.

“There are a lot of guys right now with programs that aren’t in leagues due to the COVID-19 crisis,” Scott said. “So if we have an opportunity to play a non-sanctioned exhibition scrimmage against another quality program, we’re just happy to do it.”

Scott is not just a player, but also owner and coach for the Queen City Insane Asylum, a semi-pro football team based out of Springfield.

“Originally kind of started back in August with some tryouts. So for the last six, seven months we’ve worked pretty hard to put a pretty efficient program in place to be competitive in this state and the states around us.”

The Insane Asylum are in their first year as members of the Impact Developmental Football League, however for now they are just playing a preseason scrimmage against a visiting team from the St. Louis area.

But since Greene County and the city have stricter social distancing guidelines, the team is instead playing in Fordland.

Though they are still taking some precautions to limit potential spreading of the COVID-19 virus.

“We supply hand sanitizer and masks for our officiating crew on the sideline and for each players. We also give masks as an option to all the fans that come through the door. We did just debut these new Queen City face masks for our football program as well.”

Still, the full contact action and lack of social distancing were clear deviations from encouraged health and safety tips.

But Scott defending the event saying it was voluntary and something he believes his team and community wanted.

“I feel like right now, a lot of our community is super defeated about not having anything to be a part of,” Scott said. “This is something that still allows them to participate in social distancing and the things the city and state has mandated, but also come out as a community and enjoy football together.”

And while colleges and professionals continue to side with caution, football in Fordland may be some of the only contact sport in the country.

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