High school football teams adjusting to playing multiple games a week

Published: Oct. 19, 2020 at 11:43 PM EDT
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WAYNE, W.Va. (WSAZ) - Typically high school football teams spend the week gearing up for games on Friday nights, but in this pandemic year, games are being played just about every day.

Because of the pandemic wrecking havoc on schedules, schools are constantly scrambling to schedule games when and wherever they can.

Tuesday will mark the fourth game the Wayne Pioneers have played in the span of just 12 days. It’s an adjustment for a tough, physical sport that normally only sees games played once a week.

Coach Tom Harmon says with so much changing week to week depending on what color a county is on a given Saturday, scheduling opponents, not to mention trying to game plan for them, has morphed into an impromptu affair.

“From a scheme standpoint, when you’re playing another team, you don’t have a chance to take away the things they do well,” Harmon said.

The Pioneers had to sit out the first chunk of the season because Wayne County was in the orange. Now they’re playing more games in shorter windows of time.

“You don’t have time to go in depth, and you have to condense what you usually do,” Harmon said.

Wayne athletic trainer Gabrielle Cotton says they’re lightening up practices to prevent the student athletes from being worn out.

“Having more games is resting them more, because practices are less intense,” Cotton said. “They’re doing more walk-through practices than strenuous practices.”

“You can’t have physical practices or anything like that,” Harmon said. “It’s pretty much just a stretching-type situation. They actually probably get more rest with a short distance between games, because they’re not as intense of practices.”

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