While other states move to delay high school football, the FHSAA is full-speed ahead. While it was not totally unexpected, it still caught people by surprise. Trenton football head coach Bill Wiles and Buchholz football head coach Mark Whittemore joined the Sportscene to discuss their thoughts on the matter.
Wiles said there were times during the meeting where it seemed the decision could have gone either way. With the meeting dragging out the way it did, Wiles said the fact that there was a decision period was almost better than what they decided on. They knew where everyone stood, at least.
Whittemore said he gets the decision because the FHSAA is trying to cover a variety of different situations. But he was still surprised by it. He thought it would be pushed back at least a little bit.
While it will be a difficult challenge, Buchholz is going to try its best to keep the students safe when they get back to school. Whittemore and his staff will continue to follow national guidelines as they did over the summer.
Keeping the Players Safe
Whittemore broke down the national guidelines while on the Sportscene. The protocols call to phase everyone into a return. Phase one is strictly conditioning. Phase 2 allows for use of the weight room. Then, Phase three permits the use of actual footballs.
Anyone in the area must get their temperature checked and anytime they’re close together, they have masks on. Whittemore said the more methodical you are with the basic steps (handwashing, social distancing, wearing a mask, etc.), you greatly lower the risk of any spread.
Wiles said Trenton tries to be as safe and clean as they can. He said they try to sanitize equipment and spread out players and staff when possible. Wiles said he spent all morning on the phone trying to find ways to keep everyone safe while playing football.
He wanted to keep in mind this process involves trying to keep kids safe too. And it’s not kids like calling Gary Carter and Ken Griffey Jr. “the kid.” These players are between the ages of 14 and 18. There is an entire extra layer of responsibility.