HOOVER, Ala. (WBRC) - Saturday’s scrimmage is the first time Hoover has experienced live action on the gridiron since last November, a crucial practice for head coach Josh Niblett as he continues to evaluate his team.
“It’s just huge, it’s real big, I don’t think you know how good you are or how good you can be as an individual until you are put in game-type situations,” said Niblett.
But Saturday’s scrimmage came with extra pressure for the players as they tried to focus on the game and the AHSAA’s COVID-19 guidelines.
“It’s kind of been hard on us, we’re not used to playing with masks and having all these protocols and these precautions and everything so today was very much needed and it gives us hope,” said Hoover linebacker Marcus Williams.
Hoover kicks off the season in exactly 13 days and the Bucs believe having officials at their scrimmage on Saturday is exactly what they needed to help remind players about all the new protocols with COVID-19.
“As far as the sidelines and the team box that goes down to the 10 yard line now, we were able to talk through that with the officials and the players so yeah it’s critical,” added Niblett.
Although some teams across the state have had to shut down their programs due to COVID-19, Hoover believes making it to game week will be an accomplishment in itself.
“It definitely worries us, but we have the right coaches to help us stay safe and they take it very seriously,” said Williams.
Hoover opens the season at home against Dothan, a team recently added to the Bucs schedule after their season opener in Georgia was cancelled due to COVID-19.