LINCOLN -- Lincoln head football coach Matt Zedaker is optimistic state schools Superintendent Dr. Eric Mackey will have positive news when he addresses the media about the upcoming school year Friday.
Mackey will address the public about the “Roadmap to Reopening Schools.”
Lincoln has followed the safety guidelines implemented by the AHSAA and Talladega County Board of Education throughout June. With just over a month before fall practice begins, Zedaker hopes there will be another step implemented towards having a season.
“The hope is some of the restrictions that we had will lighten up. We hope that goes in phases, kind of how they are reopening the country,” Zedaker said. “We followed everything we were supposed to in June. We hope that we can get our groups a little bit bigger.
“Personally, and from a Lincoln High aspect in July, we really have to start working football. The coaches sat in here (Thursday) for a couple of hours trying to put together three or four different plans on how we group kids in staggered groups such as this group can run an offensive play, this group may be our starting defense. Then you got two groups that can be your No. 2 offense all the way down to those young players.”
With COVID-19 cases continuing to rise in Alabama, there is a level of uncertainty about if there will be a 2020 high school football season. Zedaker said he has gone through several different scenarios that could happen if they do play this season.
“I keep myself up at night doing the what-ifs. You can go back and forth on what if this happens or what if this happens, it will drive you nuts,” he said.
“As a coach, I am planning for a football season. We are ordering our spirit packs; we are doing everything that we do when we are in a regular time and a regular football season.
“I think what has to happen is a vaccine has to be created quickly, and that is the big thing to take the what-ifs away. You have to be very cautious. You have to make sure you don’t slip on doing all the precautionary measures to make sure the kids don’t get sick, or if one does, that it doesn’t go all the way through your team.”
Lincoln players returned to campus June 6 for summer workouts. The Golden Bears had more than 80 kids participate during the first three weeks. Zedaker said he had to find different ways to keep his players socially distanced.
“We are going back to old school calisthenics; we do jumping jacks to get their heart rate up, stretching and things like that,” he said. “Usually we do a whole team dynamic type stretching.
“We had to get creative as a coaching staff about how we could work them as a whole group but keep the social distance. We have a staggered dismissal. Each one of those eight groups, they have two minutes to get into the locker room and in their designated spot.
“Once we get everybody dismissed, we have 15-minute stations with two of them being in the weight room. Every kid has their own water container; they all have their own mask. They have to keep their mask on … when they are in the weight room. If they are not socially distanced in a drill they must have their mask on.”