Wildcat Football and COVID-19

Wildcat Football and COVID-19

Lara Lyons, Staff Writer

Friday night lights, blaring band songs, and face masks as far as the eye can see.  This is what football looks like during COVID-19.

Football Practices  Coach Sheffield said the players and coaches are doing their part to prevent the spread of any potential coronavirus cases by wearing facemasks and maintaining social distancing guidelines. The managers are also doing a great job with their daily tasks to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus by maintaining sanitary conditions and safely handing out the water.  Freshman Jayden Johnson said they have to wear bottom visors (plastic face shields attached to the bottom of their helmets), and Coach Hammack said they also limit the players’ time together in the field house.

Coach Brown said COVID-19 has made the practices a lot more detail-oriented in terms of how they keep things clean and safe for the athletes. Their practice lengths have not changed nor has their routine; however, they are strict about the boys wearing their masks and splash guards (shields) when going up against each other.  Other precautions they take include fogging down the dressing rooms when the athletes leave and spraying down the weight stations with disinfectant.

This Season  Sheffield is looking forward to seeing the dedication the players showed during summer workouts lead to big performances on the field.  Coach Hammack said this season is more hectic than last season and definitely different from any other season he has coached, but he is looking forward to the boys actually getting to play and seeing them perform.  Both Jayden and Cameron Johnson are looking forward to winning State this year.  Sophomore Braden Hopkins says this is  going to be tougher because there’s better competition, social distancing, and advancing their playbook.  Junior Hunter Shirts says the Wildcats have been looking good so far and plan to go farther in the playoffs than last year. 

Most Hyped Game This Year  Hammack said the biggest and most exciting games this season will be the homecoming and the Waskom games, but of course, they take each game seriously because no one can be overlooked on the road to a playoff spot. 

Cameron Johnson and Hunter Shirts agreed they’re looking forward to the Ore City game, while Taber Childs is anticipating Elysian Fields, and Braden Hopkins couldn’t decide between the two.  

Elysian Fields will be a special game for Coach Brown who used to coach at EF.  This will be the first time he will go against a program he helped with, against players he used to coach. 

Friday Night Lights will definitely look a lot different from last year’s with everyone having to wear masks and social distance as much as possible.  The band will be sitting in the end zone, and the cheerleaders will be socially distanced from each other on the track, but everyone is determined to make this season the best it can be!