HALLSVILLE, Mo (KMIZ)
The Hallsville Indians just started full-team practices about two weeks ago and despite all the work that has to be done, the staff said they are just excited to be back.
"Just to be honest with you, just really happy to be back, if you can't tell," said Hallville football coach Justin Conyers.
Conyers said the first day of practice had him a little worried.
"“It was really exciting to see all the guys back, but day one was—it was a little rough. I went home and I told my wife, phew, it went a little rough today. But, then day two it was just like a light switch went on and the guys were kind of all back in sync and we had a tremendous practice," he said.
The Indians lost 16 seniors in May, all of which had starting positions on the team.
“I’m feeling out of form right now about how many returners I have," Conyers said. "I have one returner on offense and I’ve got two on defense and one of those guys shared time, so not a lot of veterans on this football team right now."
Despite the lack of senior leadership, he said he feels good about where they are now, on week three of practice.
On top of training a young team, Conyers and his staff have to keep up with COVID-19 guidelines to keep his team and facilities safe.
"We had to come up with a comprehensive plan for all of our athletes," he said. "In between sets that aren't sharing bars. We're using hand sanitizer, then when they move from those sets and reps and we're wiping everything down and sanitizing it before the next groups comes in. You can't drink out of water fountains. You can't use restrooms. They have to bring their own water bottles."
But, Conyers still said he is happy to be back out on the fields with his team and his staff. He also added his wife is happy as well.
"“I’m sure my wife was ready to get me out of the house too. I told her, babe this is what retirement’s going to be like, just me waking up whenever I want and drinking some coffee and piddling around a little bit. I come home in a much better mood now," Conyers said. "It just gives me back the sense of purpose and whether that’s sad or not, football— I love it. I feel like it is my purpose and I'm just excited to be back around my guys."