LEXINGTON, Ky (WTVQ) – The Lexington Catholic football team has returned to the practice field to condition with social distancing guidelines provided by the KHSAA. Zoom meetings are nice, but you can’t beat face to face interactions. And for head coach Nigel smith that is something they are glad to finally be able to do.
“I think that the coaches being able to see and talk to the young men is a good thing. Relationships that you build on a normal day to day basis kind of been on pause at least from a space standpoint,” said Smith. “So just the ability to be out here as a group, see the new kids, see the guys who are entering their last year as seniors and kinda how special that is. Just good to be here.”
What does the future hold for high school football in the state of Kentucky? Several weeks ago, KHSAA Commissioner Julian Tackett said Kentucky will never be first but they won’t be last when it comes to making decisions on how they move forward. Even with the unknown, Coach Smith and others are taking what they can get.
“We still have questions about what’s going to happen down the road, but at least we’re doing something that feels normal. That kinda feels in the pathway to being normal,” says Smith. “So I think anything that you can do like that. Yea, the rules are a little bit different, but once you’re out here football is still football. Conditioning for football is still the same as it ever was.”
Conditioning, it’s a necessary evil for the sport and with the layoff it is tough for a lot of the players.
“I think for a lot of our guys it’s the running. It’s hard,” said sophomore wide receiver and defensive back Walker Hall. “Since we’ve haven’t had spring ball we haven’t been running a lot so I think a lot of our guys it’s good for them to get back in shape and get ready.”
KHSAA allowed on-campus conditioning starting June 15th. Due to wanting athletic trainers on site during practice, Fayette County Public Schools will allow fall sports practice to begin June 29th, but when will full contact practice be allowed? With the first Friday of high school football scheduled for August 21st, there is a worry of getting behind, but coach smith isn’t too worried about that because everyone is on a level playing field.
“One of the things that’s going to happen is everybody in the state is on the same path. The rules for one are the rules for all. None of us will be able to start contact before anyone else.”