Any new high school football coach would be be eager to see his players on the field as soon as possible.
Systems need to be installed. That is usually accomplished during the spring and often even before that as football has become a year-round effort in many high school programs.
It’s especially important for a program trying to rebuild. Lexington was 1-10 in 2019 and that led to a coaching change. Eric Brown, the co-defensive coordinator for 2019 4-AA state champion Vance, was the choice.
The coronavirus pandemic made Brown and his players wait. They could talk on the phone and have Zoom sessions. Brown also sent out encouraging tweets, including home workout suggestions. But they couldn’t get on the field.
The Yellow Jackets got clearance to begin summer workouts on Monday and they were on the field, albeit with significant restrictions.
“It was a double-edged sword,” Brown said. “Want to get started with the program. Want to keep people safe. There is no clear answer because we all have families to go home to at the end of the day.”
With sessions limited to 90 minutes and can have no more than 25 people, coaches included. For Lexington, that means linemen in one session and skills personnel in another session.
“We are following the NCHSAA rules of different pods per allowed numbers in each pod and practicing social distancing with mask protocol,” Brown said.
The NCHSAA has delayed the start of fall sports until at least Sept. 1 and that puts further limitations on what any teams can do in terms of preparation. Brpwn understands.
“…The team is getting after it while staying safe,” Brown said. “Starting late is about the risk to the student athletes and everyone involved. The later, the safer for the student athletes and minimizing spreading.”
In terms of participation, Brown was pleased with what he saw.
“At the end of the day we had a good turnout per past numbers from people close to the program and want to keep that momentum,” he said.
Mike Duprez can be reached at (336) 249-3981, ext. 218 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Mike on Twitter@LexDispatch_md.