BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - We are 17 days away from the kickoff of AHSAA football, and on Monday teams moved one step closer to starting the season as they put on shells for the first time since last fall.
For some teams, it’s been nine months or longer since players have put on shells. “Today gives them some type of normalcy out on the field. It doesn’t feel like it’s just 7-on-7 at practice with just helmets,” said Hueytown Head Coach Greg Patterson.
Hueytown football hasn’t worn shells or full pads since last November in the playoffs. Without spring practice, Patterson said Monday’s practice was full of enthusiasm.
“It was just a great feeling, you know, especially with us having doubt about not having a season, it felt good to get out,” said Hueytown left tackle Richard Pearce.
The players said putting on shells this morning gave them comfort knowing that they are one step closer to actually playing a game this fall. As far as cleaning the shoulder pads to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, Hueytown purchased a fog machine to disinfect equipment on a daily basis.
“From the weight room to lockers to shoulder pads, and then washing the kids’ practice jerseys for them everyday to make sure it gets clean, you know, it adds a little bit more to us, but it’s a price worth paying if we get to play,” added Patterson.
Teams will practice in shells again on Tuesday and will move to full pads on Wednesday.