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Local football coaches react to MHSAA update, as fall sports move forward

MHSAA to reevaluate on July 29
Posted at 2:30 PM, Jul 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-17 21:32:11-04
MHSAA says fall sports will start the school

Over the past several weeks, high school football coaches, players, and parents have all been anxious to see what will happen this fall.

"Yes, it's frustrating but I'm really respecting all the work they're doing, they have a tough challenge ahead of them," said Hopkins football coach, Cody Francis.

After Friday's decision from the MHSAA to continue with fall sports as planned, at least for now, coaches like Nathan Ferency at Schoolcraft, couldn't have been happier.

"The exciting thing is we can anticipate playing in the fall until we can't," Ferency added. "Before, it was 'are we going to play?' Or 'Will it get cancelled?' we had no idea, but I'm at least comfortable telling the players, 'we're going to play probably, it's just a matter of when.'"

While the update was cause for optimism, coaches like Francis are interested to see what the council decides when they meet to decide the fate of fall sports on July 29.

"The end of July gives us less than two weeks to potentially give out equipment, get physicals, get participation fees," Francis said about the stress of the decision.

Both coaches say they've seen the effect this pandemic has had on their players, especially on their mental health.

"When I'm talking to the kids, I can see that mental health is a huge issue," Francis said. "The uncertainty of when school will start, if it's going to be online or a hybrid version of in-person, and are fall sports going to happen [is tough]."

Ferency says he's trying to help his players wrap their heads around this entire pandemic.

"The biggest thing as an educator and coach is you just care about the kids, I think they have a hard time wrapping their heads around what is this going to look like, and how does it impact them," he said.

Francis says he's just ready for a decision, no matter what it is.

"There are a lot of variables still up in the air but, to be honest, I've been preparing for them all, because I just want to see the kids."

And while we still don't know when, or if, football will begin, Ferency says it will be even more special when it does.

"I think there's going to be a higher sense of investment," Ferency explained, "when we have a special opportunity that maybe we wouldn't have been afforded, it will be a bit more special."