As additional players wait to be cleared to join their teammates, the Galt Warriors varsity football program has about half of its expected players working out and itching to get their season started.
The Warriors returned to the field last week after the Galt Joint Union High School District gave permission for high school athletics to start in-person conditioning.
This time last year, the Warriors had wrapped up their season, with their last game taking place Nov. 1.
With the delayed start to the season this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the team is still in summer mode but appreciative of the chance of playing when their altered season begins Jan. 8 against Woodland Christian.
“For each program, the varsity is probably running at about 50 percent of the kids coming and, JV, they probably have about 60-70 percent of the kids coming,” said Galt football coach Tim Cobleigh.
The athletes who have been working out since last week are committed to their workouts, Cobleigh said when asked what his student-athletes’ response has been like with the current workout stipulations of working in small pods.
“They’re engaged,” Cobleigh said.
Earlier in the summer when the team communicated through Zoom meetings, the team was notified it should be prepared to expect changes in the way they would be working out once they returned on the field.
“With everything being outside, it’s good old-fashioned calisthenics. It’s a lot of running, whipping them into shape,” said Cobleigh. “When we were having their Zoom practices, we kind of warned them it was going to be old-fashioned conditioning. The ones that are there are working really really hard this year.”
During distance-training, the Warrior staff made sure it was doing its best to keep its players motivated while they were isolated at home.
“Using the format that they’re using for the distance learning, we were able to do chalk talks, motivational talks, we gave them assignments from reading poetry, to motivational videos and assigning certain sports movies,” Cobleigh said.
While the Warriors work out and look forward to seeing their team at 100 percent once more, players, as athletes, are athletically cleared to play; they have several new or new-ish faces to greet them on the coaching staff.
“Jason Burgin, he’s my new JV coach. He’s been a great addition to the staff, doing a fantastic job out there,” Cobleigh said. “Isabel Zepeda is on my staff, (and) Sean Williams. It’s a tight-knit family.”
As long as conditions are ruled safe to play in regards to COVID, the Warriors will be taking the field under the lights in just their second season in their renovated stadium in less than two months.
“We love doing what we do, working with the kids. When you’re not out there doing it alongside them, it takes a toll; it’s rough keeping yourself motivated but it’s just the thought of getting out there,” Cobleigh said.