The high school football season is scheduled to begin in two months. But with so many concerns still out there because of Covid-19, many players and coaches have many concerns and are learning that they will have to deal with whatever cards they are dealt.
They have been limited to meetings through the use of technology and have not been on the field together in more than three months.
“I don’t think the season is going to begin at its usual time, but I do believe there is going to be a season,” Burroughs quarterback Jon English said. “I think the season will be pushed back to some point in the winter. I know it is going to be difficult for the athletic directors and schools to have more sports packed into the winter season, but I think they will make it happen.”
Burbank coach Adam Colman said he has tried to keep his team focused even though the school year ended two months early as a result of the pandemic.
“Zoom has been huge for us. During the spring, we were meeting twice a day and treating it like regular spring ball but on the computer. We were able to install most of our concepts, watch film, draw up stuff on the whiteboard,” Colman said. “Since our dead period at the start of June, we’ve scaled back because there is only so much you can go over in theory and, eventually, the kids just need to go out and do it. So far in the summer we’ve tried to focus on efficiency so we meet twice a week on Zoom. One meeting is to go over updates and just give them a space to share and talk about everything that’s going on. The second meeting is dedicated to workouts. Our strength and conditioning coach, Omar Trancoso, has been able to put together some great videos of workouts the kids can do at home with minimal equipment and by getting creative with what they have available to them.”
Burbank quarterback Aram Araradian agrees with English in the thought that they won’t be playing on Friday nights in two months.
“At this point I do not think the season will start in time, and at this point I wouldn’t mind when the season starts, as long as it does start,” Araradian said.
Burroughs coach Jesse Craven still has not met his team in person and has also relied on Zoom.
“With this being my first year as the head coach and without being able to meet our team in person yet, I have to understand that the players don’t know who I am yet,” Craven said. “So the focus for me this spring was to connect with our seniors and try to build as much of a foundation and open line of communication with them first.”
Without practicing, there will need to be lots of catching up to do when the teams do hit the practice field.
“A reasonable amount of practice days before the season begins is two months, with a week and a half of practicing in full pads.,” English said. “That is enough time for teams to get in game-ready shape.”
English added that he trusts that schools will have a plan figured out to best project athletes from the spread of Covid-19.
“Covid will always be a threat throughout the season, but as long as every school takes the precautions to make sure everything is safe then I think the season will be as it normally is with a few changes to the amount of spectators that are allowed in the stands,” English added.
Araradian said he does not favor the changing of a helmet to help prevent the spread of Covid.
“I think covering the mouth during practices and games would make it extremely hard for the player to breathe, so I don’t think changing up the face mask would be effective in keeping everyone safe,” he said.
Colman said he isn’t worried about when the season will start.
“In terms of starting the season later, I think I speak for all coaches when I say we just want to do whatever is safe for our kids,” Colman added. “Obviously we all want a season, but their long-term health and the health of their families is what is most important. If it’s decided that starting the season later is the best way to do that, then we’ll roll with it. It would definitely make it a unique and memorable season.”
Craven agreed that he is not concerned about the start of the season.
“There are a lot of people in the city of Burbank and really across the world that are dealing with very real and tough things,” he said. “While I would love to be practicing and preparing for the season. I feel it is important that (I) and our team maintain perspective during this time.”