High school football in 2020 is different to say the least. But, for one area program, they will have their work cut out for them this week.
“Administration is kind of like ‘What’s going on?'” says Cecil Ray Cossey, Hamburg head football coach. “But, the players and their families are just pumped to be able to play.”
Anything can happen in football. Even varsity players facing junior high athletes? That is going to happen Tuesday night, in El Dorado, when Hamburg comes to town.
“Welcome to 2020 baby, ” Cossey continues. “I know that’s crazy. And, in the world of Louisiana, with power points, that would never work.”
Compared to their counterparts in the Bayou State, non-conference high school football matchups do not count toward power points, or playoff seedings, or standings in Arkansas. That allows teams to schedule whoever they want.
“Fortunately, El Dorado’s [junior varsity] had been sending out messages looking for games, ” says Cossey. “And, we took them up on their offer.”
Why would an experienced football squad battle a junior varsity team? The Lions were not able to play twice in three weeks, thanks to opposing players testing positive for coronavirus.
“After losing our scrimmage from the opponent being quarantined, due to COVID, we also lost our week one game due to an opponent being quarantined for COVID, ” says Cossey. “So, we were looking for any possible way to get four quarters of reps.”
Don’t expect too many rule changes for Tuesday night’s bout.
“I think the only change is going to be special teams, ” says Cossey. “And, we’re still lining out all of those details. But, we’re willing to make whatever compromise that Coach [Steven] Jones wants.”
On top of everything else, Hamburg’s game with Camden-Fairview is still on for Friday. The Lions will suit up twice in one week.
“Ultimately, we got to get out of our ruts, ” Cossey says. “We got to get out of our comfort zone. And, make sure our boys are getting ready to play football, because in 2020 tomorrow is not promised.”
Hamburg’s varsity football team will meet El Dorado’s junior high squad, Tuesday night at 7:00 at Memorial Stadium in El Dorado. The game will count for Hamburg, and will not for El Dorado.