William Fleming begins voluntary football workouts under new VHSL restrictions

Published: Jul. 1, 2020 at 5:44 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - At William Fleming High School, this week has been a much-anticipated reunion.

“It’s a beautiful thing just to be able to see these guys again,” said head football coach Jamar Lovelace. “Guys are a little bit taller, voices are deeper. Just to be able to get that face-to-face time with guys, that does a lot for you mentally, does a lot for you emotionally, and just to preach that family atmosphere and to get a small piece of that again is exciting.”

The Colonels are taking advantage of the Virginia High School League’s suspended summer dead period, which allowed teams to begin voluntary out-of-season practice activities this week.

For Lovelace, it’s a welcome shift from Zoom meetings and virtual communication.

“It’s different working out with teammates and working out by yourself,” he said. “A lot of these guys, some of them have been lucky enough to get with a couple guys and do some running. But now, just kind of chasing that common goal together and being able to do it with your teammates means everything.”

Under the VHSL Phase II guidelines, teams can conduct conditioning and individual drills, but none that involve passing or handing off footballs between players.

Physical contact and protective equipment are also prohibited.

“We’re trying to just get the guys’ bodies acclimated to moving and working out again, so a lot of conditioning drills, a lot of agility drills,” said Lovelace. “We have some kettlebells and some bars, some other equipment items that we’re using. We’re cleaning these items before we rotate, so guys are kind of going from station to station, getting some exercises in before they transition to the next.”

VHSL Phase III guidelines are still yet to be determined.

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