Rutherford County football coaches trying to get back to normal

Rutherford County high school football teams were allowed to return to the field on June 1.

Additionally, the TSSAA announced last week the dead period (June 22-25) will remain in place, meaning athletes aren't allowed on campus.

Upon their return on July 6, teams will have roughly six weeks to prepare for the upcoming season.

The Murfreesboro Post sports editor Monte Hale Jr. spoke with several area coaches last week and asked them about the challenges that lie ahead considering teams didn't have a spring practice and are limited in what they can do now.

RIVERDALE COACH WILL KRIESKY

Q: What is you main objective during these first three weeks of practice?

A: "No. 1 is to get them back in shape and get their strength back. A lot of kids haven't had access to weight rooms or haven’t been working out. We need to get their strength back and into some kind of playing shape.

Q: What is the biggest challenge you face getting your team ready for the upcoming season?

A: "We're going to have to throw a lot at them in a short amount of time. We usually have all the special teams stuff in and our offense and defense installed. They're going to have to learn a lot in a short amount of time."

Q: Do you think the TSSAA should consider pushing the season back a week or two?

A: "I think it's possible to keep on track as long as we have a normal July. If we don't, I think we have to push it back for the safety of the kids with the heat. Usually coming back from dead period we have 7 on 7 and that's taxing on kids. We usually practice and then do 7 on 7 and we throw a lot at them."

OAKLAND COACH KEVIN CREASY

Q: What is you main objective during these first three weeks of practice?

A: "Just to get everybody back and get them together and get back to working like we were when this thing hit. We were doing a good job with weights and agility before, but we didn't have a spring practice."

Q: What is the biggest challenge you face getting your team ready for the upcoming season?

A: "Not having spring practice is really going to make us put some inexperienced players out there. That's a big challenge for guys who didn't go through spring ball. It makes for a good question mark."

Q: Do you think the TSSAA should consider pushing the season back a week or two?

A: "I think as of right now we've got a great chance starting on time. I think August depends on how hot it is. We want to make sure during ball games that we're following the heat policy because a lot of guys might not be in as good a shape as they were last year."

EAGLEVILLE COACH FLOYD WALKER

Q: What is you main objective during these first three weeks of practice?

A: "Really, it's just to get the kids back in a routine and focus on conditioning."

Q: What is the biggest challenge you face getting your team ready for the upcoming season?

A: "i think it's going to be strength because everybody hasn't been in the weight room. That's going to be the biggest component."

Q: Do you think the TSSAA should consider pushing the season back a week or two?

A: "I'm OK with the way it is as long as you start back the first week after (July 4). That gives you plenty of time to get ready."

ROCKVALE COACH RICK RICE

Q: What is you main objective during these first three weeks of practice?

A: "Probably the most important thing and objective is to get them in some type of shape. We also need to install the new defense. Still, the most important thing is getting them into shape and making sure they're safe. We're out of shape bad, I can't lie. We have to keep plugging along."

Q: What is the biggest challenge you face getting your team ready for the upcoming season?

A: "Well, to tell you the truth it's two things that pop in my mind. It's blocking and tackling and we can't do anything right now. I know it sounds like an old coach's cliché but I'm really worried about blocking and tackling."

Q: Do you think the TSSAA should consider pushing the season back a week or two?

A: "Well, I was surprised they let us start when we did. It wouldn't bother me if we started on time. I'm just tickled to death to see my kids."

LA VERGNE FIRST-YEAR COACH MIKE WOODWARD

Q: What is you main objective during these first three weeks of practice?

A: "Conditioning. I mean we're so far out of shape that we have to be smart and not get anyone hurt. We have to make sure that they understand when we come back from the dead period that we don't lose the three weeks we're putting in."

Q: What is the biggest challenge you face getting your team ready for the upcoming season?

A: "Well, there's a few big challenges. The first is to see how our sophomores are going to fit in this year. We didn't have them in the spring and didn't get to see them hit. We have a big sophomore class. It really hurts us going into July 6 not knowing what these kids can do with pads on."

Q: Do you think the TSSAA should consider pushing the season back a week or two?

A: "I'm OK with the way the calendar is. Part of me says push it back because we have a bye week, but we couldn't match up with everybody else's schedules. I don't see how we can push it back. I think as coaches we have to be smart and get them ready for Week 1."

SIEGEL FIRST-YEAR COACH ADAM RENSHAW

Q: What is you main objective during these first three weeks of practice?

A: "Our main objective is to get ready to go through a two and a half hour football practice and get them ready for a contact sport. The other thing is to get to know them. The nine-person groups have been good because I've gotten to talk to each of them."

Q: What is the biggest challenge you face getting your team ready for the upcoming season?

A: "I think honestly one of the biggest challenges is not to panic. Everybody is in the same boat your are. We're in a transition mode, but it's still about blocking and tackling and teaching fundamentals."

Q: Do you think the TSSAA should consider pushing the season back a week or two?

A: "I'm not an administrator so I would say I have to trust the powers that be to do the number of cases in Rutherford County and the state of Tennessee. I would hope that the powers that be will make the right decision."

BLACKMAN COACH KIT HARTSFIELD

Q: What is you main objective during these first three weeks of practice?

A: "I think our main objective and focus is individual skill development while we're practicing in small groups. It has allowed us the opportunity spend attention to all the individuals. It's been a blessing for a lot of those guys on our team."

Q: What is the biggest challenge you face getting your team ready for the upcoming season?

A: "I think the biggest challenge is just getting them together and getting them to learn each other and about each other and their personalities. We lost a lot of time in the spring. They're just really starting to learn each other. The second is getting them physically prepared for this season. A lot of time has been missed and we're going everything we can to make up for that."

Q: Do you think the TSSAA should consider pushing the season back a week or two?

A: "I'm not a doctor but I'm in favor of starting on time. I don't think one or two weeks will make a difference. I'm definitely in favor of moving forward if the health district feels it's the safe thing to do."

STEWARTS CREEK FIRST-YEAR COACH BEN CAUDILL

Q: What is you main objective during these first three weeks of practice?

A: "I think that's a question we haven't answered as a staff. We're trying to deal with the restrictions and we've got to gain the players trust. We graduated 32 seniors. I think the biggest thing is coming back in and getting in the weight room and forming relationships."

Q: What is the biggest challenge you face getting your team ready for the upcoming season?

A: "I think the biggest challenge is going to be keep the players healthy. As much time as we lost it's still about our players being healthy. When we get back from the dead period, you hope your leaders start emerging. I know the character of our kids is not a concern of mine.

Q: Do you think the TSSAA should consider pushing the season back a week or two?

A: "I don't really down everything about the season starting on time. That's something we've talked about with our coaching friends across the state. We're just trying to control what we can. We're in control of our guidelines."

SMYRNA COACH MATT WILLIAMS

Q: What is you main objective during these first three weeks of practice?

A: "Getting them back in shape. We sent out workout to them during the quarantine but there wasn't a whole lot of ways to enforce that. So we just want to make sure we get then in shape."

Q: What is the biggest challenge you face getting your team ready for the upcoming season?

A: "The biggest challenge is trying to get everything in. Right now, it's a matter of playing catch up. The main thing is getting them up to speed with our schemes."

Q: Do you think the TSSAA should consider pushing the season back a week or two?

A: "I'm always in favor of pushing it back because of the heat. I think we start too soon. I wouldn't be opposed to it, but it looks like we're going to stick to it. One concern of mine is five our teams we play are against teams from Davidson County. What's going to happen in one of those counties cancels football in the fall?"

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