Local High School Teams prepare for upcoming Season while adapting to Phases
While adapting to Phase 2 and planning for Phase 3 — potentially coming by the end of this month — local high school football teams have been preparing for an upcoming season, however that might look.
The Louisiana High School Athletic Association (LHSAA) allowed high schools to resume football activities with new safety guidelines due to COVID-19 on June 8.
Those precautions include limited-capacity workouts, daily temperature checks, coronavirus-related questions and sanitizing equipment.
“It’s been going pretty good,” said Gary Hill, Terrebonne High School football coach. “But it’s different. It does slow you down a little bit, but you do whatever you can for safety.”
Limited to groups of 25, including the coaches, South Terrebonne football coach Archie Adams said the team has a front yard and stadium drop-off area, and the two groups stay separate the entire time for workouts. Even the coaches work with just their specific groups each day, he said.
Adams said the staff had used Google Classroom to schedule workouts. “We set up a time and a drop-off place, and they had to respond,” he continued. “We can’t just let you roam on campus like the old days; we had to have it pre-done, and it worked out pretty well.”
The players are doing a lot of conditioning and body weight workouts, Adams said, and some football-related drills — but spread out. “Obviously you can’t run plays like you want to yet, and you can’t touch a lot of footballs and things like that,” he said.
Adams said the players have been putting in weight room time, but only in small groups, without the use of spotters. They then have to clean the equipment, he said, and it can’t be used again until the following day. “So we try to stay mostly outside,” he continued, “until Phase 3 hopefully by the end of this month.”
“I have a great staff, and they understand that this is not normal,” he added. “We have to tighten the belt straps and get after it. That’s what we have to do.”
Hill said his team has been mostly outside as well and sticking to conditioning and agility workouts. “I think everybody’s kind of in the same boat as far as having to take precautions and be slow,” he said.
They haven’t had to turn away any players due to high temperatures, Hill said, but some have been told to stay home for safety. “It might have been a stomach bug or something like that,” he said. “We haven’t had anything too crazy.”
Besides a few on the first day, which could have been due to the positioning of the thermometer, Adams said, they haven’t had to turn any players away due to temperatures. “We’ve been lucky,” he said.
Both coaches are preparing their teams in hopes that there is a 2020 season, whatever that might look like or when it occurs.
“I feel great that they’re talking about opening the schools, so that’s at least a positive,” Adams said. “From the 13th [when Louisiana teams report back for practice] on, we’re going to have two solid weeks to come up with some type of Phase 3 plan and finalize some things and hope that everything falls into place — hoping to see this trend turn around a little bit. That’s the only chance we’re going to have.”
“It’s going to be one of those football seasons where hopefully the kids get to be kids and get back to some sense of normalcy,” Hill said. “…We’ll prepare like we’re going to have a season within the rules. When the rules change to prepare more, we’ll prepare more. When they slide back to where we prepare less, we got to prepare less.”
He continued: “I think it’s just the dynamic that everybody wakes up every day and you just don’t know where you’re going. So you just do what you’re supposed to do that day and move forward.”
Photo taken at South Terrebonne game during the 2019 season.