By Morgan Cook
Weaverville – As summer progresses, North Buncombe High school has begun to look towards the fall for the highly anticipated football season.
North Buncombe High School’s summer conditioning officially began June 17th for all 10th-12th grade student-athletes. Head Football Coach, Brandon Allen explained that this conditioning is meant to focus on the athlete’s strength and speed development during June. After July 4th the athletes then begin football-specific activities to gear up for the season.
Due to the impacts of COVID-19, football practices are limited to three days per week with a max practice time of 60 minutes. Despite the new regulations, the team is still planning for a full regular season this fall which will start at the regular time. The team is prepared to follow guidelines and change their plans should it be necessary.
Coach Allen sang his player’s praises stating, “We have the best group of young men, year in and year out, that you just love to coach. They know how to work! They know what it takes on a daily basis in order to put themselves as individuals and as a team in a position to be successful. That is our culture here. We know we have to outwork other teams in order to win, and they take that very seriously.”
The North Buncombe High School cheerleaders, coached by Kristen Nunez, have also been preparing for the upcoming football season this fall. The team began meeting in May via Zoom video calls. After the first introductions, the team got into warmups and conditioning at home. The girls met during evenings via Zoom and did their workouts together.
Cheerleader Kylie Cook, 16, who will be a Junior this year states, “I can’t wait to start having our practices in person! Zoom calls are good because I could still see my teammates and we can practice, but at the same time I miss having practices in person.”
While the girls are not sure when they will be able to meet in person for practices, they do know that there will be special modifications for practices in order to follow guidelines. The biggest difference for the girls this season will be the social distancing rules.
As cheerleading is a very contact-based sport, the team is working on the best way to keep the girls safe while also having productive practices. For now, the girls know that they will not be flying until restrictions are lifted. Much like the football team, the cheerleaders will also only be able to meet for 60-minute practices.
Despite the extra guidelines for practices, student-athletes are all getting excited about football season this fall. Though the specifics on how this season will differ from others is unknown, Coach Allen is confident that there will be a football season.