Wildcats on the prowl
Cassville football makes summer plans
Four days a week, before most people wake up, the Cassville football team is already breaking a sweat in the weight room and in conditioning drills.
Just like a football game call for the coaches and players to be flexible and adapt to the changing tide, this year, COVID-19 (coronavirus) has made the coaches and players at the school call an audible.
“In the back of my mind, I was worried about what kind of shape our guys were going to be in,” said Lance Parnell, Cassville football coach. “You have to keep in mind, until the first of June, we hadn’t seen any of these kids since about March 16.”
When the school dismissed for its wellness break, Parnell went to work to devise a plan to stay in touch with his players and hopefully keep them in some type of playing condition.
“The coaches and I came up with a workout plan the guys could do at home,” Parnell said. “I then divided up the roster among the coaches and gave them a certain number of kids that they were to call or text each week. We wanted the players to know that we were still with them.”
On the first day of summer weights, Parnell had two major questions. First, how many players would come to lift, and second, what kind of shape would they be in?”
“The turnout, for every day, has been outstanding,” Parnell said. “Our numbers are up, and even more impressive is our guys came back in pretty decent shape. We basically picked up where we left off in March. As a coach, I was excited that we could immediately start taking steps forward instead of needing to go back a step to get traction.”
The team, instead of lifting in one big group, has divided up into four sessions. Originally, the sessions were one hour long, but they have now expanded to 90 minutes.
“We have smaller groups and limit our contact,” Parnell said. “The health, safety and wellbeing of our players is the No. 1 priority.”
One significant change to the Wildcats’ summer schedule is that the team will hold all of its camps and practices in house.
“We will not be going to William Jewell this year for camp,” Parnell said. “They were not letting any outside team come so that they could be prepared to welcome back their students this fall. We understand that and totally support that decision. We are going to stay in Cassville and get to work together here.”