Rutherford County football teams enter dead period optimistic

Oakland's Victor Stephenson is one of the top returning Rutherford County football players. FILE

After three weeks of conditioning, Rutherford County high school football teams have a two-week break for the TSAAA dead period.

Players are not allowed on campus during this period and won't return to practice until July 6 when they'll begin preparing for what they hope to be a 2020 season amid the COVID-19 virus.

Teams are obviously in better shape than when they arrived, but coaches are somewhat fearful that if they don't stay active during the break they'll be back at square one.

"We feel like the kids got in some type of shape and we were able to do a lot of things like installing our defense," Rockvale second-year coach Rick Rice said. "It's been a good thing. I didn't want it to end, but the dead period is a good thing. I wish we could have another week, as far as what we got accomplished we felt really good walking off the field (last Thursday)."

Rice said he gave his players a "workout plan" for the next two weeks.

"We gave them a plan to give some things to do to keep them off the dadgum coach and eating potato chips," he said. "We've gave them a plan for four days a week and hopefully they'll be disciplined about it. We'll know in July who did it and who didn't do it."

Rice said he'll spend part of the dead period with his son.

"No vacation for me," he said. "I'll spend most of my time with my son, Austin, who is doing physical therapy (after being injury in a car wreck in the fall) in Atlanta. I'll do some stuff around the house and football field."

First-year Siegel coach Adam Renshaw was pleased with the three weeks he had with his team.

"We had several really good days," he said. "I was very proud of the way the kids worked. They were tired of being cooped up and in the quarantine situation. I was proud of the organization of our coaching staff and we made sure to take care of the kids.

"Now we go to the dead period and take vacations and be with family. But we told them they need to stay active if they want to have the kind of season they want it to be."

First-year La Vergne coach said the Wolverines took positive steps conditioning wise the past three weeks.

"I think we had three really good weeks of work because the attendance was so great," He said. "I felt like we took a big step with our conditioning and getting them back on track.

"With the dead period I told them to get out and run and at least give us every other day. I told them to remember when they came in June 1 and how completely out of shape they were and remember how they felt those first couple of days. I told them what drills you hate the most are what you need to do the next two weeks."

Riverdale coach Will Kriesky said the Warriors had three productive weeks.

"Things went really well. I was worry how the kids would handle it but they did the best they could," he said. "Attendance wise, it was the best we've had. They were ready to get back to normal. We got a lot of workouts in, conditioning in and even some football in.

"I told them the last three weeks have been pretty easy for everybody and you’re going to see who separates the average teams versus the good teams with what you do in July. I told them try and get with your teammates and get together and work."

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