Student-athletes in Trousdale County were beginning to resume their respective sports this week with tryouts scheduled for basketball, volleyball and cheerleading.
Of course for Yellow Jacket fans, wondering what would happen with football has been a subject of intense interest.
The Vidette spoke with second-year coach Blake Satterfield, who said that summer workouts were ready to begin as well, but with restrictions put in place because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’re under those same regulations,” Satterfield said. “We get to start on May 26. Now, we have to be in groups of 10 and only two coaches per 10.
Players were coming in this week by class in order to be measured for height and weight, have headshots taken and pick up equipment.
Satterfield said his staff would bring in 10 players at a time throughout the day once practice begins, “maybe a group of linemen and maybe a group of skill guys.”
Incoming freshmen may be limited to one or two days per week to begin with, the coach said. There were 18 incoming freshmen that signed up for football before school was canceled, as well as 45 upperclassmen.
Satterfield said his staff might have a group of players on the practice field and another group in the weight room at the same time. That is permissible under social distancing guidelines as long as the two groups do not mix. Equipment will have to be sanitized between workout sessions as well.
“We’ll have a coaches’ meeting and see what coaches can do and go from there,” Satterfield said. “As long as they follow those guidelines, we’ll be fine.
“It’s trial and error in what we can and can’t do. It’s a weird time.”
Satterfield said there had been no word from the TSSAA with regards to the regular season, which is scheduled to begin in August.
“They say go by the TSSAA calendar, which means starting after graduation; that’s what we’re doing… There’s still going to be a dead period… Hopefully all this gets lifted by July when we start putting pads on.”
Satterfield said his staff had talked to players about staying in shape during the spring. Players would normally be lifting weights and working out under coaches’ supervision, but the school closure made that impossible.
Players could often be seen running along the streets of Hartsville and Satterfield said he was pleased with the effort his kids were making.
“I’ve been in contact with the kids on a weekly basis… started sending them daily workouts and a conditioning program. Every day they’ve had guidance.”
For those who did not have access to weights at their homes, the coach said his staff provided alternate workouts that could be substituted, such as push-ups, sit-ups and pull-ups, and agility drills such as jumping on the back of a truck’s tailgate.
In some cases Satterfield even took equipment from the school’s weight room to players, as long as the equipment could be stored safely.
“Coach (Paul) Pitts and I delivered it to kids,” Satterfield said. “I took the bench, clean and squat racks and gave them the workout we were doing before all this corona stuff hit.
“My mission statement was if they couldn’t come to the weight room, I’d bring the weight room to them.”
Reach Chris Gregory at 615-374-3556 or [email protected]