Local high school basketball coaches and athletic directors push through Covid struggles

Published: Jan. 21, 2022 at 1:29 AM EST
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - For the last few years there’s been a lot of cancelled games due to Covid.

Covid has definitely created some issues for most but our teams here in North Florida and South Georgia have learned from it and say they’re ready for what the rest of this season has in store.

Sometimes its easy to take for granted the sounds of the ball bouncing and the swish of the net but the last couple of seasons are proof this privilege can come and go.

“Last year we only played 14 games. We had two weeks without practice and we haven’t had six weeks straight of practice yet. I mean just continuous up until this year,” described Rickards High School Head Boys Basketball Coach Eli Bryant.

Rickards High is still trying to find their identity just two years removed from a state championship with Coach Eli Bryant still adjusting to the new normal despite three decades of experience.

“You don’t have a good feeling every day I mean I’m just over 40 so I’m susceptible to a lot of things I wasn’t when I was 20,” joked Coach Bryant.

But despite the latest surge we’ve seen, Leon County Schools Athletic Director Scott Hansen says schools are more prepared than ever.

“One of the great things it’s we have dealt with it for the last year so a lot of our coaches and players understand during the season how to react or how to practice and work around and getting Covid,” explained Leon County Schools Director of Student Activities Scott Hansen.

But still, there are setbacks and cancellations like in Thomasville where coach Benjamin Tillman was set to have a surprise celebration of his 300th victory before a Tuesday game against Pelham was called off.

“I think they really did plan on doing it Tuesday, I really didn’t know much about it until Tuesday so they were kind of putting the surprise on me,” said Thomasville High School Boys Basketball Coach Benjamin Tillman. “But they’re going to try to do something later on in the season. So we’re still excited about that.”

What concerns Tillman more however about missing the game is less preparation for the meat of the season. Something coach has prepared his guys for.

“So we want to be able to play as many people as we can to give us a variation of looks and so not to play Pelham did kind of hurt us a little bit but hey we’re up for the challenge and we’re ready to move forward,” explained Coach Tillman.

A region of talented hoopers ready to push through the adversity and make the most of this season.

FSU Women’s Head Basketball Coach Sue Semrau talked about how Covid has prevented her team to be able to play full strength until Thursday night. Just going to show how Covid has effected the game on all levels.

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