Photo: Andy Hilton/recruit757
We have two months to squeeze in football camps before preseason practices would start
by Andy Hilton, recruit757
The past few months have been brutal.
Set aside the threat of Coronavirus. Let’s address the effects of being locked down and “socially distanced”.
Spring football activities have been crushed. There have been no high school team training, workouts or practices. We’ve had no camps. There have been no 7-on-7 events. The Spring Evaluation period for college coaches to visit high schools has also been obliterated.
The Commonwealth of Virginia is only in phase one of a planned three phase re-opening.
What do we have left? We have hope.
We missed the annual recruit757/Sparta Science Showcase at Redskins Park. Our annual Clash of the Titans Showcase was also postponed. Typically, we’ll have our CPAC (College Prospect Assessment Camp) in May. As of now, there are no college one-day camps to prepare athletes for, but we’re hoping for a window to work with.
No one knows exactly when we’ll have the opportunity to return to having camps. At this point, we’re looking at holding events before August, that’s assuming that the football pre-season starts on time and the season starts on time. College football programs are also hoping to hold one-day prospect camps, but they also have to wait and see.
Looking at the latest guidance from the NFHS, recruit757 will not going to have camps in Phase one. The guidance for phase one dictates “no gathering of more than 10 people at a time (inside or outside).” Phase one also dictates “a football player should not participate in team drills with a single ball that will be handed off or passed to other teammates. Contact with other players is not allowed, and there should be no sharing of tackling dummies/donuts/sleds.”
Also in phase one: temperature checks and screening. “Responses to screening questions for each person should be recorded and stored so that there is a record of everyone present in case a student develops COVID-19.”
Phase two calls for “no gathering of more than 10 people at a time inside. Up to 50 individuals may gather outdoors for workouts.” That makes a camp possible, but recruit757 camps have between 100 to 200+ athletes participating. We could hold an event in multiple sessions, but it dims the competitiveness and camaraderie of our events.
According to the Governor, we may not see phase two until the end of June.
Phase three may be what we’ll have to wait for. At that point, “Gathering sizes of up to 50 individuals, indoors or outdoors,” is the guidance from the NFHS. That’s going to limit football programs just as it might limit our events. There are plenty of football programs that have 75+ athletes at the varsity level. Are they going to have to separate their team at all times?
There are other hoops to jump through, such as cleaning and sanitizing all equipment, washing hands before competing, hand sanitizer stations readily available and athletes showering immediately after events.
This guidance could change. For recruit757 camps, we’ll continue to keep an eye on the developments. College one-day camps in June and July, if they happen, would set the standard for how our camps would be executed.
We are still hopeful that we’ll hold the recruit757 Clash of the Titans this summer. We are not sure about the Sparta Showcase. The Redskins would have to open their facility to the public. Considering that they want to keep their facilities clean for their athletes and their season is coming up too, we may not have access.
The VHSL has not specifically announced if they will follow all of the guidance from the NFHS or issue their own mandates. College football programs and independent camps don’t have to follow VHSL guidelines, but we are subject to the mandate of state government. It’s entirely possible that college camps and our own camps will open before high school football programs can return to normal activities.
If the football season gets pushed back, we’ll be in a different situation. We might find that football camps are the only opportunity for seniors to showcase their talent before the traditional National Signing Day. If High School Football doesn’t happen until the Spring of 2021, we might see the NCAA change the parameters of the recruiting cycle for college football.
We just don’t have all of the answers yet.
As usual, we will continue to monitor the situation and we’ll keep you informed.
– Andy Hilton