FNF Coaches Talk — Linemen takes up cross-country, how Texas fans are social distancing, transferring from public to private

FNF Coaches Talk

Welcome back, Coach! We’ve got three stories for you.

1. 300-pound lineman takes up cross country amid Michigan high school football delay (Michigan Live)

Here’s an idea for your players if the high school football season has been postponed until the spring. Tell them to consider playing another sport. This 300-pound lineman from a Michigan high school is taking up cross-country running to stay in shape.

When the Michigan High School Athletic Association postponed the 2020 high school football season from fall to spring, Watervliet cross country coach Aaron Weber was contacted by Royce Daugherty about securing a spot on the team.

A 6-foot-3, 300-pound two-way starter on the offensive and defensive lines as a freshman, Daugherty was ready for a breakout sophomore campaign in 2020, and when that got put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic, he didn’t want to spend the fall sitting around.

“It took me a couple days to figure out what I was going to do, but I knew I couldn’t just sit around and do nothing at all,” Daughterty said. “I talked with my parents and a couple friends to see what I should do, and I found that cross country would be the best option because it will help me get tougher mentally and physically.”

What a great attitude for a high school sophomore.

Read the Michigan Live story about this offensive lineman running cross-country.

What advice are you giving your players in terms of competing this fall?

2. Texas high school football and social distancing? Some fans did better than others (Fort Worth Star-Telegram)

The Texas high school football season kicked off Friday night amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Class 4A schools and smaller got the ball rolling all around the state with some stadiums social distancing better than others.

However, according to the UIL guidelines for dealing with COVID-19 during the pandemic, schools are required to limit capacity to 50% for all games and only “provided that appropriate spacing between spectators is maintained according to the protocol.”

The UIL guidelines specifically call for groups (a maximum of 10 people) to maintain at least six feet of distance from other groups at all times, “including the process of admission and seating.”

That doesn’t look like it happened here:

Little bit better here.

This looks the safest of the bunch.

Check out more pictures of fans distancing at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

How will you ensure that your fans are following safety protocols in the bleachers?

3. Paying $56,000 to play high school football this fall? Charlotte families make sacrifices (WBTV 3)

We’ve seen many states split on the issue of the high school football calendar between public and private schools. North Carolina is one of those states.

The N.C. High School Athletic Association, which governs the state’s 421 mostly public schools, won’t be playing football this fall, instead delaying the sport until second semester. These two stoppages of play have led borderline major college prospects around Charlotte to seek football refuge where the game will still be played Friday nights.

The Observer surveyed 140 public schools in and around Charlotte on the North Carolina side of the border to learn how many football programs have had players transfer out to avoid waiting until February to play their seasons. Seventy coaches responded. At least 22 football players have changed schools for football purposes. Of those, 14 have transferred to either area private schools or South Carolina public schools.

For Simpkins, that meant an all-boys boarding school that costs $56,670 per year. The school’s nearly 300 students come from 18 states and eight countries, and because its governed by a private school league separate from the NCHSAA, his new team will still play football this fall.

The N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association, which has 97 private school members including Christ School, has voted to play football beginning the week of Sept. 21.

“We moved because of all the uncertainty,” said Brad Simpkins, whose son announced his intention to transfer before the football season was officially postponed. “We’re living in a very different world today, and there’s uncertainty with what is going to happen with football across the board, and not just high school. Specifically affecting my son was: What was the state association going to do? And then, on top of that, what was CMS going to do?
“… I can’t speak highly enough about (the staff at Hopewell). So while we feel good about our decision, we feel absolutely horrible about so many kids that are facing the fact that they’re not going to play this fall and it’s no fault of their own.”

What can be done to prevent the transfer of student-athletes to private schools in states in which public school football has been postponed?

What’s driving the conversation in your locker room? Email Managing Editor Dan Guttenplan or Tweet us @fnfcoaches. Don’t forget to use that hashtag #FNFCoachesTalk