By Kennard Squirrel (Whetstone contributor)

Football player Eugene Byrd, No. 28, holding the ball

Football player Eugene Byrd, No. 28, holding the ball /

Senior Eugene Byrd has a dilemma that most Wesley students do not have.

He has to be at Wesley College for most of the Thanksgiving holiday because he’s a running back with the Wolverines football team.

“It is hard for me to try and go home for one night and try to get back the next morning because my traveling arrangements aren’t set up that way,” he said.

Byrd is one of 52 players whose holiday is short.

On Thanksgiving Day, while most students are home enjoying their break, the football team remains at school practicing.

If some of the players don’t make the 52-man roster then they are allowed to go home, but if some players stay local then Coach Mike Drass asks them to stay and practice.

“We try to get the best of both worlds by practicing in the morning so we can execute on Saturday at a high intensity,” Assistant Coach Steve Azzanezi said.  “We have guys go home or some stay local with teammates and coaches so they can get that thanksgiving experience.”

Players able to go home get a chance to finally enjoy themselves and get a break from school and football.

“When I went home it was a sense of relaxation,” said junior Felix Ortiz. “It was nice to be around my family for such short period of time because I knew I had to go back soon so I had to enjoy it as much as I could.”

Senior Morgan Taylor has grown comfortable with the fact that he cannot go home during the holiday.

“I’ve actually stayed [at Wesley] every Thanksgiving since I’ve been here,” he said. “I don’t really see the huge importance of it. It’s just another day to me.”