Clinton High’s football team spent Monday morning preparing for football.
The Red Devils didn’t actually play football. They moved from station to station, lifting weights and working on agility, speed technique and conditioning in small groups.
This is all the law presently allows, at least by the restrictions released by the S.C. High School League with the approval of the governor’s office.
The groups consist of nine players and a coach, and they will be the same 10 until restrictions change and the team can work out in ways that are even more football-related.
By keeping the groups the same, in the ugly event of a COVID-19 strike, the whole team won’t be exposed.
Or that’s the theory.
Head coach Corey Fountain said the turnout was good. All of Monday’s activities were inside. The groups were staggered. Half went through drills and “chalk talk” early, beginning at about 7 a.m. The latter shift ended at about 12:30 p.m. Players from the rising 10th, 11th and 12th grades are working out Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Rising ninth graders, who presumably need introductory work, are taking part on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
The groups will go outside to the practice fields for part of their drills on Wednesday morning for the first time.
Painstaking precautions are in place, with time allotted to give coaches time to clean all areas after a session before another group reports to each station. Coaches wear masks at all times. Players are allowed to remove their masks while participating in drills but wear them while in lines or otherwise idle.
The S.C. High School League has released no Phase 2 of resumption, but teams will be allowed to use footballs – it seems a modest consent for a football team – after 14 days. How much sanitizing will be required has not been determined.
Imagine a game played in the rain, lacking only the mud.
“A lot of cleaning is going on right now, especially in the weight room,” Fountain said.