RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT)- Manchester head coach Tom Hall says that throughout his career, coaches themselves have had minimal say in decisions that impact their particular sport. Now he and his fellow team leaders are working to change that.
Head and assistant coaches from all across the state have come together to form the Commonwealth Football Coaches Association, which will allow the coaches to unify and hopefully have more input in football-related decisions.
"When you have a large group of coaches that are fighting for one thing, and that's obviously the kids, I think that speaks miles about what our plan is," said Hall on Tuesday. "We want a seat at the table. We want to be able to sit down with the Virginia High School League and have a say on some changes that may occur to the game that we all love."
The 20-year Lancer head coach noted that starting an association has been a discussion for years, but the COVID-19 pandemic is the spark that really got things going. While other states like South Carolina, West Virginia and Florida have announced a start date for high school football workouts, Virginia still has not specified a date that student-athletes can begin organized activities.
"The first thing is getting back with our kids," said Hall. "Every one of us misses our kids dearly and we want to get back with our kids. We're looking at neighboring states and the procedures that they're following and some are going back in June."
Of course, Hall and his fellow coaches understand the current climate with the pandemic and are putting safety at the forefront of all decisions.
"You're not going to do anything to put the kids in jeopardy. Obviously we have enough common sense that we're going to follow what the CDC says, but at the same time we can come up with a plan," Hall noted. "We have a plan set in place and we just want to present that plan."
Things like limiting the number of student-athletes per workout, pre-testing and pre-screening, no locker room or restroom use, athletes supplying their own water bottles, and departure immediately after workouts are all things included in the coaches' plan, according to Hall. He also notes that they'll ask for 15-20 minutes between each session to allow for the cleaning of the facilities, and no football-specific equipment will be used in the early going.
The Commonwealth Football Coaches Association has been divided into five regions, with the Richmond area serving as one of them.
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