August is here and we are a week away from the start of fall practice. It will be a fall sports season like no other, but it will also be a bit of a throwback to a different time.
This football season will be played but it will look a little different. From expanded sidelines to give social distance to possible fan restrictions that could include no fans at games at all depending on local restrictions.
This summer the majority of programs only did conditioning and work by themselves. Most stayed home from team camps either on college campuses or other schools in the Metro. There was little if any 7-on-7 competitions and teams just focused on themselves with conditioning, lifting and fundamental drills.
When practice starts in Missouri on Aug. 10 and in Kansas on Aug. 17 the preparation for the first game of the season will look more like 1980 instead of 2020. There are very few jamborees scheduled for the week before the season and the inter-squad scrimmage returns to the best live action preparation for upcoming season.
Before there was 7-on-7, before there were more than 20 days of practice in the summer, this is kind of what it was like. Teams did a two-week camp in the summer where there was work on fundamentals and conditioning with a little bit of installing of offense and defense. There were scrimmages and maybe a team camp out of town but not all schools did that. Then when August hit you had two-a-days and tried to get ready for week 1 in three weeks.
Before this season, the modern state of high school football had teams installing most if not all of their offense and defense in the summer. Then the first weeks of fall practice were used to fine tune game plans and settle some position battles. After a Jamboree to get those under the lights butterflies out of the way you were ready for football.
It’s kind of a throw-back season with the uncertainty of a global pandemic thrown into the mix. I had one coach tell me the preparation is like the NCAA basketball tournament on a week to week basis, he said their mindset was to survive and advance. Another joked that the season wasn’t just taking it week by week, it was taking it day by day.