Back to Practice: Football Edition

Courtesy+of+Unsplash+

Courtesy of Unsplash

Jordan Diver

David “Jefe” Jones, a senior business management major and outside linebacker, passionately talks about the first practice. 

“I got excited seeing the helmets, seeing the quarterbacks throwing the football,” Jones said. “I felt like a kid on the first day of school. It usually takes me about 30 minutes to get my helmet on and adjusted, but I was so excited it took me about two minutes. I realized how much I missed it- playing football,” Jones said.

Because of COVID, this year is drastically different compared to others because of the precautions put into place. The football organization is making sure they stay as safe as possible during their practices. 

According to Jones, the men were split up into two groups which were then split up into smaller groups. 

“It’s not harder, but it’s not easier,” Jones said in regards to the practices. However, when referring to the newer precautions and rules, Jones mentioned, “For us to become accustomed to this is harder since it’s not the norm.” 

Masks are one of the biggest differences in place.

Adding on to the obvious that masks make it harder to breathe, especially when participating in physical activities such as practice, Jones mentions other annoying factors that come with wearing the masks. 

“I have to take my helmet off more, to drink water and then fix my mask.”  Jones also talks about how masks throw off team communication. “It makes it harder to hear each other. I have to throw my voice more. Football is a game of communication…There is only so much time [to communicate].”

Jones talks about the team dynamic. 

“We can’t be gathered together as one group,” Jones said. “We can’t high-five and we can barely fist pump (each other).” 

One would think that this would hurt the team, making bonding harder. Jones, however, states the opposite. 

“As crazy as it sounds, we are getting to know each other better and are closer as a team.” Crediting his teammates, “They are a cool group of guys,” Jones said. 

The men also seemed to be just as excited as Jones was to begin practices. 

“Everyone remembered how much they loved football,” Jones said. “I’m not going to lie, after I put my helmet on, I didn’t want to take it off.”

Although practices have begun, the season is still uncertain because of COVID. While many have doubts about sports starting up again in the spring, Jones keeps a positive outlook on the situation. 

“I was scared that I wouldn’t play again.” Jones, being a senior, would have this as his last season. “People keep asking, ‘What if we don’t have a season?’ I don’t even want to think about that.” 

Jones remains hopeful that a spring season will occur.