FNF Coaches Talk — Texas player tests positive for COVID, sell masks as a fundraiser, military school cancels season

FNF Coaches Talk

Happy Friday, Coaches! We know a lot of you are excited about returning to practice, and we’re right with you. Here are a few stories to be aware of as you attempt to navigate your way through this unique situation.

1. East Texas high school suspends summer workout program after football player tests positive for coronavirus (Sports Day)

I think we’ve all wondered what will happen if one of our players tests positive for COVID-19. Here’s how one district in Texas is handing it.

A West Orange-Stark High School football player has tested positive for coronavirus, the school district announced Wednesday night. As a precaution, the school district is suspending all summer workouts for 14 days.

The UIL advised all schools could begin workouts on Monday. That was when the player attended a varsity workout.

On Tuesday, the West Orange-Stark player informed head coach Cornel Thompson that he “had possible exposure through contact with a family member who tested positive for COVID-19.”

Thompson advised the player to stay at home and get tested and advised his workout partner to stay home and get tested as well. The student confirmed a positive test.


What’s your plan if a player tests positive for COVID-19?

2. California school sells face masks to raise funds for football team (ABC 30)

Looking for a new fundraiser because your normal spring event was cancelled?

After COVID-19 stopped them from holding their usual football fundraisers, one Valley high school is getting creative to raise money for their team.

“The first thing was, ‘How are we going to pay for all this stuff?'” said Coach Jorge Pena. “Really, those fundraisers in the spring bridge the gap.”

The booster events raise money for items not covered by the athletic budget, including practice gear, travel expenses and meals.

The booster club began selling masks for $10 each. Initially, they had to purchase the masks themselves, so now they’re hoping the community will help.

“All the meals after games and all the meals on Thursday nights before games,” continued Pena. “It’s all bonding experience. It’s all part of building a stronger team.”


What will you be doing for fundraising this year since face-to-face events may not be possible?

3. Instead of starting conditioning like other Georgia schools, this team cancelled its 2020 season (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

This is a sad story about a school cancelling its 2020 season, although this particular school’s circumstances are a little different since it’s a boarding school.

This week, when other GHSA football teams began conditioning for the 2020 season, Riverside Military coach Nick Garrett was left to deal with stunning news — Riverside won’t field a football team this fall because of COVID-19.

With the school’s announcement in May, Riverside became the first, and only so far, GHSA school not planning to have fall sports teams.

“My initial reaction was shock at the thought of not having a season, especially with the group of seniors we had and what we’d accomplished over the last couple of seasons,” Garrett said. “Now, I’m just spending time with parents and players and coaches, making sure they’re OK and squared away and completing a plan for each one of them.”

Riverside is a school of about 500 students in grades 7-12. It occupies the same campus on which it was founded in 1907. Riverside cadets hail from some 25 states and 30 countries. About 90 percent of them are boarding, so the safety challenges of that environment are greater than typical GHSA-member schools.

Garrett has been a high school head coach in California and a college assistant at four schools. He beat out 70 local applicants for the Riverside job.

“There’s quite a few schools that have reached out and asked if I’d be interested,” Garrett said. “But I want to do what’s best for the school. I’m a firm believer in loyalty, and I want to make things right for those kids remaining, especially in these times of COVID and social unrest. We’re going to create a plan to train our kids and be empathetic to their needs.”


What are the biggest challenges you’ve encountered in your team’s return to play?

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