JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – Even before the ETSU football team strapped on the pads and buckled their helmets for spring practice, the SoCon canceled all athletics-related activities for the remainder of the 2019-20 academic year.
Head coach Randy Sanders isn’t the only coach dealing with this dilemma and he realizes how important this time would’ve been for his team.
“It’s not something I’ve ever been through, there’s not many people alive on earth that’s ever been through any situation like this,” Sanders said. “If there was ever a team that I’ve been around that needed spring practice this was it.”
Despite missing crucial time this spring Sanders is staying positive through these tough times.
“We’re going to try and do everything we can to prepare and that’s kind of what our focus is right now and that’s what my focus is right now is doing what we can do,” Sanders said. “You got be at a certain level of conditioning to stay healthy in the course of the season, so once the season starts you don’t have the body breaking down and guys getting hurt.”
The Buccaneers will have to do everything they can to make up for lost time when the season kicks off on September 5. After battling Mars Hill in the opener, the Buccaneers travel to Georgia, host Samford for the SoCon opener then travel to FCS semifinalist Austin Peay.
Even with the Buccaneers disappointed about how the spring has unraveled, Sanders knows what’s most essential in this pandemic.
“The most important thing is all the kids being healthy, all the kids coming through this thing okay, hopefully their families come through it okay,” Sanders said.