During the current covid-19 health crisis, it seems fans at all levels of football are almost as terrified of getting hopes up for a coming season as the virus itself.
Casey Dick, getting ready for his second season as the coach at Fayetteville, has no idea what’s going to happen, either, but he’s just staying the course.
“You hear a variety of different things,” he told Tye Richardson and Tommy Craft (The Morning Rush) last week on ESPN Arkansas. “It’s still up in the air.”
Like we’re hearing in the college game, just about everything may be on the table right now and Dick has heard them all.
“Will it be what we’re used to?” he said with the overall question everybody has. “Will it be cut down, will it be shifted or will there be a new normal? Those are directives we’re awaiting for the policies and procedures they’ll put into place in order to make us safe.”
The players are working out, but the school has to take extra precautions.
“We’re able to have kids to come into the weight room and they have to be socially distanced inside the weight room,” Dick said. “Outside we’re able to get a little more creative with what we’re able to do.”
The groups from the weight room cycle through to the field.
“We’re bringing kids in small groups,” he said.. “We have groups of no more than 15 that come into our weight room, those groups transition outside and they stay in those same groups. They rotate through agility drills. We’re sanitizing and cleaning those weight rooms every time those kids enter and leave the weight room.”
Fayetteville is seeing a lot of kids coming through right now.
“We’re seeing about 180 kids come through the high school on a daily basis to do that,” Dick said.
All of the guidelines and directives are forcing the coaches to come up with new ideas to keep the players engaged and have team getting better.
“It’s a little bit different,” Dick said. “We’re not supposed to be doing any 7-on-7 or anything like that taking place but we’re doing socially-distanced football and being creative on a daily basis.”
With Gov. Asa Hutchinson pushing the start of the school year back a couple of weeks, it’s shoved school back to starting with football season.
For old-timers like me, that’s not really anything new. We did that every single year.
Coaches started finding out in mid-August who they had coming back to school, in what kind of condition. Seeing players grow 2-3 inches during the offseason caught coaches by surprise every year.
“When you’re able to start both of those at the same time it’s exciting,” Dick said.
He’s making the best of it, even though he has no idea how things will ultimately shake out.
“We’re proceeding like normal just like the AAA said,” he said. “We haven’t been advised to do anything different. Bringing our kids up and training them like we have in the summer, continuing with our plan we have in action.
“If anything changes, as we’ve told our kids, we’ll make them aware.”