Coaches in limbo with student-athletes during COVID-19 pandemic

Coaches in limbo with student-athletes during COVID-19 pandemic

NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) -The games may happen in the fall but the prep work happens almost year round for high school football.

Coaches are now in a “new world” when it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic. right now the bigger schools are getting ready for spring ball while the smaller schools are waiting to get their track athletes into the off season weight program. None of that is happening.

“We have let go of the spring football idea at this point,” Nacogdoches head football coach Darren Allman said. “Mainly because of the weeks of condition we have lost. There is a lot of preparation when you think about the safety aspect. Our goal if we were to get back right now is to get the kids back into conditioning they were in when all this played out.”

Garrison hired Brandon Alvarez about a month before schools were shut down. It gave him just enough time to get his program off the ground before kids were sent home.

“I was really excited to be here,” Alvarez said. “I started to get to know the kids. We started to build a good relationship and then, ‘BOOM’ the whole world was turned upside down..”

Alvarez said everything was going better then expected with kids buying in to his off season program including senior leaders that only had a few months left. Now through the Texas High School Coaches Association, the coaches have the student-athletes working on various apps that let them do workouts from home.

“They open up the app and it shows them the workout," Alvarez said. “It times them. It tells them how much rest time they have. How long they get to work out.”

Allman and his staff have daily volunteer meetings on Zoom with his players. They have also set the kids up on at-home workouts. Conditioning is good but it does not replace what is needed to get the kids ready for that first Friday night in August. The UIL does give coaches limited time in the summer to work with the athletes but right now all UIL activities are on hold until otherwise stated.

“We have to have the time at the beginning to get them back into physical condition,” Allman said. “If we do have that summer to prepare and can get creative with that time potentially we could get ready and roll on as usual but it will be a challenge and with every passing day that challenge gets greater.”

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