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PRCC football ready to alter plans if needed

As athletics slowly resume there’s still uncertainty regarding how the pandemic will progress, and that’s why the Pearl River Community College football program is making restart plans that can be changed at a moment’s notice.

Head Coach Seth Smith said the hope is to have players back on campus the first week of July.

However, the environment the athletes will be returning to won’t be a familiar one.

Several layers of guidelines and restrictions means the athletes will have their temperatures checked prior to practice, while constant sanitation of the locker room and weight room will be taking place.

Smith said the new practice format will take some getting used to.

“When we come back that first week it’ll be about the coaches and players getting a feel for the new normal. We won’t be able to start contact until August,” Smith said.

There were plans prior to the pandemic to host multiple camps over the course of June to help players hone their skills and evaluate potential recruits.

Those camps have all been cancelled, but now that face-to-face recruiting is allowed again Smith and the staff will have to make up for the lost camps with more recruitment visits.

Prior to June 1 all recruiting had to take place virtually, which is doable, but Smith said getting to see an athlete in person paints a better picture of how the player could contribute to the team.

“Their film alone is the biggest part of the recruit because if you think a kid can play the film shows it. (Going in person) is about getting to watch them interact with teammates and get a visual of how big they are. It allows us to watch them interact and see their personality,” Smith said.

Smith said the hope is that by August the world will have returned to some sense of normalcy.

At that point the players and staff will move into more contact drills as they prepare for the upcoming season.

Smith said the schedule and everything regarding the season hasn’t changed, although it can if needed.

At the moment, the belief is that come August the team will be able to move full speed ahead in its preparation, while looking ahead to an exciting first season under Smith. “We’re ready to get the kids on campus, start installing our systems and get ready for a great season,” Smith said.