Spring Football

West Point football coach Don Farley is pictured.

Don Farley's agenda for each and every spring is simple enough.

The longtime West Point football coach has — like so many others — things he hopes to accomplish within his program during that allowable 10-day evaluation period.

But with the recent cancellation of spring sports due to the coronavirus pandemic, Farley is having to call an audible and come up with new ways of getting the same work done.

And that, he opined, has taken a bit of resourcefulness.

"For us, the biggest change is the workouts, the lack of a weight room," Farley said. "We've definitely had to get creative. We've sent them workouts, and I told our guys to do some sprints, go for a run or ride their bikes. I've asked our leaders to take on a role of speaking to their teammates and providing encouragement so everyone will do everything they can until we can be together as a team again.

"Being around the kids is the thing we're missing the most, and I'm sure other teams feel the same. It isn't just practice, either. Are the guys sleeping well? Are the guys eating well? We have to trust them to do the right things during this time."

Alan Scott, meanwhile, has gone digital.

The Good Hope coach maintains contact with his coaches and players via Zoom, a video conference app that has proved beneficial in bringing about some semblance of normalcy.

"We've all been challenged as coaches to be creative and keep our kids engaged without being able to get together," Scott said. "We're certainly most concerned with their health. We have an app which all of the kids who are playing are required to join. It's a communication app. We gave them a couple of weeks to get used to the new usual, but we just posted some challenges for them.

"And they'll have to post themselves working out, and we'll give them credit for those things. We just don't want them to lose anything that they gained over the winter. We want them to maintain it. They can actually work out more on their own if they're motivated to do so."

Scott also plans to rely on Hudl in the future to make sure his team is as prepared as possible.

"We're going to try to do some installs via Hudl, especially for my younger guys," he said. "We know our tendencies and what we did well and what we didn't. We want to be able to teach off that. We're also looking at having position group meetings moving forward.

"You're just trying to do what you can. There's not really a finish line here. We just don't know what's going to happen. But my goal between now and then is to maximize the potential we have."

The lost time in the spring could be added to fall practices down the road.

That decision, though, will ultimately be made by the Alabama High School Athletic Association.

Hanceville coach Cody McCain is hoping for something concrete as soon as possible.

"I'd like to see what the plan would be as far as giving us a reasonable amount of time to get the kids ready for a season," he said. "If August 20 is going to be the first day that we play, I'd like to know the plan. I think the easiest thing to do is give us a week or 10 days before fall camp, so we can make up for lost time. Spring isn't necessarily a make-or-break thing, but you can get your install in at least.

"Having that time back would be beneficial. Otherwise, you're looking at 12 or 13 practices before the start of the season. And if that's piggybacking off no spring or summer, it's going to be tough to get a team ready to play and have them conditioned."

% Jake Winfrey can be reached at 256-734-2131, ext. 136 or at jwinfrey@cullmantimes.com.​

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