By Luke Mich
You may have noticed recently that the football team has been practicing on the various fields select afternoons. A few weeks ago, our Bearcats football squad started preparing for a potential season in the spring. When asked about how often the team practices, Andrew Deaton, a junior studio art major who plays as a defensive lineman, noted that they have six practices each two-week period.
According to Deaton, the practice schedule varies because of COVID-19 risks. “This week we practiced on Monday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday,” Deaton said.
Colton Belmont, a senior computer science major who is an offensive lineman, explained that they “usually practice in the evenings, but on weekends we practice in the morning.”
The most apparent difference this fall for football besides no games is the use of masks during these practices.
“We have to wear masks at all times during practice and meetings. Practices are definitely different this year than in years past,” Belmont said.
Deaton noted that wearing masks throughout the practice will help the return to playing football.
“We are [wearing masks] because we are trying to get back to playing as soon as possible,” he explained.
Deaton and Belmont had contrasting views on practicing with a mask on. Deaton didn’t mind wearing it while practicing, remarking, “It hasn’t really changed anything.”
On the other hand, Belmont said that it has been difficult practicing with the mask on.
“The masks do make it difficult when practicing, especially we condition. The masks make it hard to breathe,” he said.
Belmont additionally discussed the whole cycle the team has to go through for practices, specifying that “We have to always have our masks on, practice social distancing, complete a COVID-19 screening, and get our temperatures taken to practice.”
If someone doesn’t do the screening and temperature check before practice, that player can’t practice for that day.
Even with all the extra procedures, both Deaton and Belmont praised their coaches for their response to the pandemic.
“The coaches have been taking [the situation] super serious and taking everyone’s health into regards and making the right choices for us to continue,” remarked Deaton.
“I think that our coaches have done a great job coaching the team during this time. They are taking all the precautions for COVID-19, while keeping the same intensity as usual,” voiced Belmont.
The football team is still planning on practicing through the end of the semester. Practice will continue as often as it is right now, with no more than six practices every two weeks.