Rep after rep, Jacob Psyk and Max Merril go head-to-head during football practice at Strake Jesuit Prep.
Psyk is a 6-foot-3, 230-pound defensive end, while Merril is a 6-foot-4, 250-pound guard. Both first-team, all-district. Both getting recruited by several of the same schools. Both are big-time students.
"Max is a great offensive lineman," Psyk said. "Usually I can beat a guy over and over with the same move. Max knows what I like to do. He makes me better and I have to change it up on him every play."
"We've grown up in this program," Merril said. "He's helped me a ton. He's the best defensive lineman I've played in our district. He's very underrated and it's tough dealing with him every day. I know going against him that I'm ready for any defensive end coming my way."
The loss of spring sports is one of the many impacts that COVID-19 has had on high schoolers in 2020. Athletes have had to put up with suspensions of their season that leaves them no assurance on whether or not they will be able to come back to school and play. Meanwhile, they are looking for ways to workout while their school weight rooms and other gyms are closed. As for seniors who are not playing in college, they have to deal with the possibility of not getting to play their favorite sport one last time.
While spring sport athletes are likely to get the brunt of what COVID-19 has to offer for the sports world, those who play in the fall still seem to have hope of getting to play in their upcoming season. Regardless, a global pandemic that may not be as prominent in five months will still have its effect on athletes, especially football players, now.
Upcoming seniors Jacob Psyk and Max Merril are both team captains for the 2020 Strake Jesuit football team and are looking to play in college at the Division 1 level. Yale, Penn, and Abilene Christian are some of the many teams that have offered both athletes. Even though the first game of their senior year won't kickoff until early September against renewed rival Jesuit Dallas, the two are still hindered by the societal effects of COVID-19, as it raises unknowns about what's to come of spring football and their recruitment. VYPE U Ambassador Robert Gonsoulin took some time to interview Merril and Psyk in order to learn how both players are ensuring that the team is staying on track during these difficult times and what their outlook is for next season.