PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WCEP) No doubt this is a time where coaches are missing their players! That is certainly the case for Arnold softball head coach and Athletic Director Rick Green. He is one of the many area high school coaches who continues to do what he can for his players, and the facilities his athletes use.
Coach Green still working on the field and with his players as well
While doing his best to keep in touch with the student-athletes as they try to deal with what's happening to us all! I met up with the coach at the softball diamond at his school, coach Green, taking time this weekend to make sure the weeds on the diamond aren't getting out of control.
In between sprayings, I spoke with the coach about how he's staying in touch with his players and their parents. He sends out group emails and communicates via the "teams" app.
"We text all the parents and the kids at one time. Telling them what was going on, and the main thing being was them being healthy. And even in the game of softball you always got to practice to get better at softball. I said you've got to practice at being healthy and that's your job right now over this time. We've gotten great responses back from the parents 'thank you for updating us'." Coach Green adding "We let them know that our season is not canceled, it's on hold right now. And we're still awaiting word from the FHSAA on that. So our kids know that. And I sent them drills to do on their own. Things they can do by themselves, or things they can do with someone in their family. So they can keep developing their skills. Because if you regress, you know then here we go starting again. If your arm gets week again, then we've got another week of getting your arm built back up. So they understand what they're going. But I've got a lot of competitors on this team. And I've gotten a lot of great responses from our kids."
The coach also helping his girls know how, and where to work out these days.
"I explained to them what social distancing means. And that's tough on a teenager now, you and I have been there before. But we've told them, one or two, no more than three in a group. We've let them know I've talked to (Parks and Recreation Director) Jim Ponek at Frank Brown Park, and they're leaving three of the fields open and the cages open. But they don't want more than one or two out there at a time."
Certainly for all coaches this is a tough time. In Green's case, his team's season coming to a halt after 12 games, while riding a three game streak before word came to shut things down until at least April 15th. And for coaches like Green, who put their heart and soul into their profession, it's particularly tough!
"You know it bothers me, it bothers me for my seniors Scott. We've got three seniors on this team, Pilar Egge, Madison Grindle and Ellie Flaat. And they're question is 'coach when are we gonna play again?' And I said baby I can't answer that. I don't know that, it's above my pay grade. So they're waiting. You know we went over and got to play like the last game for Bay District Schools over in Gulf Shores (earlier this month) we won our last game there. Beat a team there that had been undefeated. And my seniors started crying."
Because they didn't know when, or if they would be playing again. Coach Green says he is more than willing to coach well into the summer if that's what it takes to allow his players to finish out the 2020 season!
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