Saturday Sports: Area sports teams looking ahead, adapting seasons due to COVID-19

Saturday Sports: Area sports teams looking ahead, adapting seasons due to COVID-19

LOWVILLE, N.Y. (WWNY) - Hopes of having a spring high school sports season are hanging by a thread due to the coronavirus. With restrictions expected even when social distancing is lifted, there could be an impact on the fall high school sports season - with football in particular possibly feeling the effects..

The Double Play Community Center in Lowville is one of many businesses in the Lowville area that is feeling the effects of having to shut their doors due to the coronavirus.

A non-profit organization, that like many others in the area, is a vital part of the community that hopes it can weather the storm and come back strong to serve the people that rely on its services daily.

Each summer, a number of area high school football teams participate in passing camps a few nights a week in preparation for the upcoming season. The camp is a useful tool for both the players and coaches. But with the coronavirus outbreak, there is uncertainty about being able to hold those camps this summer.

“Well it’s gonna be a wait and see thing for us. Usually, we start kicking off things right after the July 4th holiday so our hope as far as the staff and what we’ve talked about is we’re just kinda hoping that by July 1st they kinda ease things up. Especially with most of what we do being outside. Hopefully, we’re kind of able to resume as normal by then,” said General Brown Football Coach Doug Black.

Spring is also the time that high school football players hit the weight room and begin working out in preparation for the fall. It’s something players were doing when school was closed due to COVID-19.

“Spring is a huge time for us, you know, our weight room gets a lot of usage. We got a lot of people in there, guys working out together. In the next couple weeks here, I’m gonna start getting some stuff out to some kids. Hopefully, that they can get some workouts in on their own. Even because it has to be on their own, being safe first but, hopefully they can get some stuff in,” said Carthage football coach Jason Coffman.

With talk of restrictions on large gatherings lasting for several more months even if social distancing is gradually lifted soon, the big question is where does that leave high school football, with players in close contact more often than not?

“You know, football is a different sport, too, because you know, you huddle up every play. You’ve got 11 guys right there in a huddle, you’ve got guys always in groups, you got guys always really close to each other. It’s a contact sport you know, you’re in close proximity a lot of the time, and that really is something that could be a challenge for football. Everything you see on the news with the NFL with the possibility of a shortened season. I watched Nick Saban talk about what if they have to push their season back. You know, high school sports aren’t bringing in the income like those are, so if those things are being put on hold and those things are being pushed back that I really- You know, I’m afraid that that’s what’s gonna happen with us also,” said Coffman.

With the uncertainty surrounding not only summer workouts but the season as well, the coaches say they’re keeping in contact with their players and trying to keep the kids spirits up and their attitudes positive for a 2020 high school football season.

“Just try to keep them thinking positive, being active again, sending them workouts. They’re still able to get on and watch film. Some of my seniors or juniors that are gonna be seniors, are putting together their highlight films so just trying to keep football at the forefront of their mind a little bit. Maybe take their mind off everything else that’s going on,” said Black.

The 2020 season is set to kick off for area teams on Friday, September 11th.

The New York State Sportswriters Association released its All State Boys Basketball Teams.

In Class D, Chateaugay’s Jonah McDonald was named Player of the Year. Also in Class D, Lyme’s Issiah Wilson was a 1st Team selection after leading the Indians to the Section 3 Class D finals.

In Class B, Lowville junior Aidan Macaulay earned 1st Team honors. Macaulay helped the Red Raiders win their 2nd straight Section 3 Class B Championship.

Three north country players earned 2nd Team All State honors. In Class B, Red Raiders senior Chad Bach was named 2nd Team All State in Class B.

In Class C, Madrid Waddington’s Brennan Harmer earned 2nd Team All State honors.

And in Class D, Harrisville’s Jadon Sullivan was named 2nd Team All State.

Recruiting high school players has entered a new era- the high tech era- as college coaches battle social distancing and travel restrictions due to the coronavirus.

Several universities have begun recruiting and hosting athletes via the internet, with Zoom and Skype meetings and tours of campuses and facilities becoming virtual ones instead of in person.

7 News Sportscaster Rob Krone spoke with Clarkson Women’s Hockey Coach Matt Desrosiers a few weeks back and asked him what he felt the main selling point for his team was to prospective players.

“Programs like ours and the mens program, you know, they come to Clarkson, these kids wanna come to Clarkson to, you know, not only better their future with their schooling and the academic side cause we have such strong academics, but they also wanna give themselves an opportunity to continue to move on athletically as well. You know, with the mens’ hopefully striving for the NHL and with our players striving to make their national programs,” said Desrosiers.

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