MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Some Memphis-area high schools are back on the gridiron for very limited practices. They’re mostly conditioning and plyometric drills, “Well I figured they’d been sitting on their keister for two months,” Memphis University School head coach Bobby Alston said.
After the first week of practice, it’s back to reality for some players.
“That Tuesday, we did a lot of running, a lot of people were out of shape. A lot of people throwing up," senior safety Roderic Lewis said.
However, a lot of players spent their time off, in the gym. Lewis, DJ Brown and Nash Stewart wanted to come back ready.
“I was able to train with my trainer so it was actually pretty good for me,” Lewis added.
According to linebacker DJ Brown, “I’ve been able to workout the whole time going to Shelby Farms with my trainer, but some of the guys don’t have access to things.”
“I’ve been trying to get in the weight room,” nose guard Nash Steward said. “I have one at my house, but other than that I’ve just been running.”
This is head coach Bobby Alston’s 44th year at the helm, and while he hasn’t seen anything like the coronavirus, when he first started, he wasn’t allowed to have off season practices with players.
“I’m not so much worried about the techniques of football being taught, I think we can do that,” Alston said.
His hope is that kids will be able to get back to school. What he misses most, is the bond beyond the game.
“You have 11 guys. Some guys never get to touch the ball, some guys get to be heroes, different shapes, sizes, races, come together into a huddle and not being able to huddle makes it tough,” Alston added.
The players have found positives in being around teammates, once again.
“I enjoy playing with them, they’re my brothers, I love them, and it was just nice to get the chance to be able to come back out there with them," Lewis said.
“We have a lot of fun,” Brown added. “We have a great locker room atmosphere.”
“I missed all my guys during the quarantine,” Stewart said. “We really didn’t know what to expect, but so far it hasn’t been too bad.”
The school is taking safety precautions. Everyone is getting screened with temperature checks, wearing masks until players start practice and social distancing on the field.
After reflecting over the past three months, Bobby Alston said he realized after coaching for more than 40 years at Memphis University School, just how much he loves what he does and he is not ready to give up coaching yet.