After Maryland Governor Larry Hogan has given the green light for youth sports to start, football is picking back up.
Salisbury Rhinos coach TJ Bryant says his team is taking things slow to start to ensure that everyone stays safe. “I’m just trying to be conscious of that and make sure that ‘Hey you guys are standing too close together’ or ‘Some of you guys go to that group. There’s too many,'” said Bryant.
Bryant says that this year, getting his kids back on the field is a little different. “It’s been a little overwhelming because at the same time you get so caught up in the football, you have to remember that safety’s first not just on the field, but we’re dealing with uncertain times with COVID,” said Bryant.
Bryant tells 47ABC that right now he’s focusing on doing non contact drills. That way he can keep his kids socially distanced and safe. “I’m about safety first. The kids can still train and not have that contact on their body. Football is a high collision sport, and I’m all about safety, the wear and tear on the kids body and everything like that,” said Bryant.
Bryant also says he believes wearing a mask would restrict breathing too much. He says if regulations call for that, the season should wait. “I’m not speaking as a coach, I’m talking as a father. My son plays. I won’t let my son play if they require football players to wear masks on top of already having the helmet on. I just don’t feel like it’s safe,” said Bryant.
For now, Bryant says he’s making sure his players are ready for a season in the fall. “I get phone calls and texts. ‘Hey coach can we – are we doing anything today? Are we doing anything?’ We’re trying to ease them to where they’re not around each other every single day and the chances go up,” said Bryant.
Bryant tells 47ABC that while he’s working to keep kids safe, he’s just excited to get the kids active. The coach says that his players and their parents have been nothing but supportive, and ready to get back in the game. “We’re planning to have a season to play it, unless something changes with the guidelines and Governor Hogan and the things he implements. We’re planning to play,” said Bryant.