LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Several coverage teams are hitting the gridiron this week for the first time as a team in 2020.
The LHSAA announced teams could start practicing this week but there are still strict rules being enforced. Lake Area coaches say at this time, they’ll take what they can get.
“This is a great day. Finally, we get to see all of our kids at one time,” Jennings head coach Rusty Phelps said.
“We’re just telling our kids to be ready for when the time comes,” Sam Houston head coach Chad Paulk said. “We just have to be prepared now for when the LHSAA says we can play some football.”
Until the state enters Phase 3 where contact can begin, the crunching of the shoulder pads will have to wait.
“You have to be careful as to how much you’re practicing right now and how many days a week you’re going because we don’t have a definite start date,” Iowa head coach Tommy Johns said. “We’re going to keep it at a minimum, probably three days a week until we get to phase three and can start adding more days to the schedule.”
Despite the current guidelines, coaches and players say it’s a relief to be back together again on the field.
“Just putting the helmets on makes it feel like football season is right around the corner. It helps the moral of the team,” Paulk said.
“It feels great after staying inside all this time. It feels good to come out here and play football with the guys again,” Iowa safety Cejae Ceasar said.
While details on the season’s future are out of their hands, players and coaches say the one thing they can control is their mindset - staying positive about the 2020 football season.
“We definitely are keeping our heads high. There’s never a doubt that we’re not going to have a season,” Jennings quarterback Bub Willridge said.
“We’re really just having the best attitude about it. We’re just trying to push to be the best we can for if we do have a season. We’re just keeping our hopes up and doing the best we can to accomplish that goal,” Sam Houston free safety Dawson Richey said.
“Sam Houston High School is going to play football. That’s what we preach everyday,” Paulk said. “We try to come here with a positive attitude and not let what’s happening around us affect our preparation.”