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Game Day Shift

Pandemic Creates New Requirements for Students to Play the Game

FOOTBALL COACHES ENGAGE IN STRATEGIC PLANNING. In the wake of our country's health pandemic, how to prepare students for the upcoming high school football season comes into play. Coach Bryan Holley has not experienced anything like this in his 31 years of teaching and coaching football.

While football season consists of only ten regular-season games, preparation for the season is a year-round commitment. High school boys would typically crowd the weight room in January to build up the muscle strength necessary to avoid injury on the field. This year, due to health safety protocols, only small groups of students could be in the gym at a time with wiping and sanitizing equipment between sets as part of the regimen. Fortunately, springtime brings running and endurance activities outdoors.

Each practice day temperatures are taken with a forehead thermometer and the checklist of health-related questions is the same - everything from whether the student has traveled to a "hot spot" to whether or not their ability to taste or smell has been impacted. Despite the degree of concern, Coach Holley has not seen a decrease in the number of students willing and excited to play the game.

Spring spirals into summer. The students have built both strength and stamina and now it is time for them to begin transitioning the movements they were doing in the weight room to the football field. When the fall season approaches, students begin building skills and fine-tuning the skillsets they will need to play their specific position on the field. Practice games play a big part in enhancing those skills but scrimmages have not yet been allowed.

The focus on having a winning season has not been impacted. The students are working as hard as ever. Coach Holley tells students, "Football is the reward you get for putting in all that hard work from January to August. Now you get to play the game."

  • Agility Step Drill - FCHS football practice
  • Drills and more drills
  • The Whitewater Wildcats run the ball against the McIntosh Chiefs