High school football coaches prepare for return
HALLSVILLE — For Mid-Missouri high school football coaches, this summer is a little bit different.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, teams were forced to go online and communicate through different mediums to stay motivated and prepared for the next season.
As of right now, the fall season is still planned to begin as scheduled.
Players are doing their best to stay in contact with each other.
"We could converse every day through Google Classroom even though we're not together," Ted LePage, head football coach at Blair Oaks High School, said. "You know, texting, all those social media platforms, it's been remarkable how they've done it."
LePage and the Blair Oaks Falcons had an impressive year in the 2019 season, continuing their win streak all the way until they got beat by Cassville in the Class Three quarterfinal game with a score of 35-28.
"The one common denominator has been the last time we walked on the field, we lost 35-28," LePage said. "That's not going to happen again. The energy level has been ecstatic so I don't see nothing but more success for Blair Oaks."
The Falcons resumed on-field work on Wednesday, June 8.
The Hallsville Indians already resumed practice last week. They are fresh off of the school's first district title in school history and looking to do it again this year.
"We want to set ourselves up to compete for a district title," Conyers said. "I say that year in and year out. If we can't get to that game then we don't have that opportunity."
In order to do that, Conyers and his squad have to get back to basics to something as routine as practice. He said it's been a tough transition this offseason.
"It just was really tough to try and stay in contact every single day with these student-athletes," Conyers said. "It was tough. Being able to be back and have them back in the weight room, being able to monitor them and kind of get them where they need to be. It's been a lot better seeing them back in person."
The COVID-19 pandemic for many coaches is in the back of their heads in terms of how it will affect their teams. Conyers took a 'page' out of LePage's book.
"It's out of our hands," Conyers said. "I'm always under the thing of control what you can control. I can control us showing up...making sure that we're getting better as a program. That's all I can control as a head coach right now."
It's good to have football back again but for Conyers, he said it's a necessity.
"Our community and our town, and across the nation," Conyers said. "Our nation needs this right now, our nation needs athletics."