The balancing act of safety measures and COVID-19 precautions during football season
PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG) -In the game of football, injuries can happen at any place, any time.
“We have two guys that we lost for the rest of the season. We lost our starting center, and we lost our starting running back. Both of them have to have surgery,” said Port St. Joe head football coach, Tanner Jones.
It is present at all levels of play, but the question is, “Has the emphasis on COVID-19 pulled away from other football safety measures putting players more at risk on the field?”
“The focus on safety was being physically hurt. Now it’s focused on the spread of COVID,” said Port St. Joe senior, Aiden Gainer.
Wewahitchka head football coach Bobby Johns thinks the issue stems from basic conditioning.
“On the high school level, especially, the time we miss in the weight room, has really been an issue in my opinion for a lot of people because that’s how you physically prepare yourself for the season, and a lot of people have missed that time in the weight room,” said Johns.
Jones says his team is facing repercussions from the shortened amount of time to prepare for the season as well as his opponents.
“I know our guys have been sore for longer. I think that has a lot to do with not being able to hit earlier, getting used to it. I think some of the teams we have played, we have noticed cramping more because they haven’t been able to get out and run and do all the little things we do,” said Jones.
Juggling the issue of a global pandemic, and preparing players for the season has not been an easy task.
“It is tough to manage when you are on a time schedule and you’re trying not to wear your kids out, and you are trying not to keep them here all night, to figure out a fine balance to be able to be safe but also get everything you need to get done at practice,” said Johns.
However, these coaches are determined to keep their players safe, global pandemic or not.
“Making sure we don’t get concussions, making sure we’re safe at practice with no ACL injuries and those types of things, that’s, to me, just as important as trying to stay safe with COVID,” said Johns.
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