HANOVER TOWNSHIP, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Across the nation, the pandemic had a major impact on high school sports.

From empty bleachers, to hopes for an electric upcoming season.

“Community is everything. Without the help or community outreach. We wouldn’t be here today,” says James Nardone, president of the Quarterback Club.

Hanover area football players like wide receiver Sean Dooner suited up during the pandemic, but it just wasn’t the same.

“No one was really allowed in the stands. It was quiet. There was no noise. It was a totally different atmosphere. It didn’t even feel like a game really,” says Dooner.

“I think a lot of the excitement for Friday nights the whole hoopla thing even for the community I think it all got put on the back burner because everybody was staying home. Nobody was doing anything,” explained Coach Jason Majiros.

Hanover Area won the state championship in the early ’90s. It’s something Majiros remembers, back when he was their opponent.

“The bleachers were jampacked. Four or five rows deep along the fence. The atmosphere was crazy, whenever there was a turnover, a completed pass, a first down, anything, you can hear this place erupt and go crazy,” said Majiros.

And they want that spirit back, which is why community involvement is at the forefront of team’s goals for the season.

Someone who knows the value of that spirit? Former rivals from Myers and G.A.R, who are now taking on a new challenge coaching the Hawkeyes together.

So when players like wide receiver Joe Coronan step on that field, they know win or lose, Hanover Area is behind them.

“It takes a lot of work. You have to go to practice every day. You have to hit their weight room. We have to be fast. You have to be good in school. You gotta go to practice every day. You just gotta work hard.” says Coronan.

Working hard, and making sure the spirit COVID stripped away is back on that field come their first game against holy cross on august 26th.

Hanover Area held a free youth football camp over the summer, and has a community tent dance coming up on August 12th.