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High school football staffs still unsure on start date

With events like football practice likely off the schedule through the end of next month, there is plenty still left to figure out.
Credit: Grand Haven Tribune

SPRING LAKE, Mich. — (Grand Haven Tribune) - It’s still up in the air as to what football will look like this fall. If schools are back in session, area high schools will prepare for another year of action.

The biggest question for many boils down to when that preparation can begin. Spring Lake coach Dan Start and his staff have transitioned over to Zoom and begun to use Spring Lake’s learning management system to keep in touch with players while under Michigan’s stay-at-home order.

Now, Start’s biggest question is when he’ll get to see his team again.

“I think we’ll be able to play in the fall,” Start said. “I just wonder this summer, what are we going to be able to do to prepare for that. They may say, after the Fourth of July week you can come back, or you can’t start until the first day of practice in August. I’m hesitant, because in football the offseason is so important.”

The Lakers will remain in a revamped O-K Blue this season. They’ll be joined by local rivals Fruitport as well as Holland Christian, Hamilton and Hudsonville Unity Christian. Allendale, Coopersville and Grand Rapids West Catholic are holdovers from last year as Fruitport’s old division, the O-K Black, was dissolved.

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For Start’s team, the time off can only quell the momentum of two consecutive playoff bids.

“I don’t think anything will happen in June,” the Spring Lake coach said. “I’m hoping for July at this point. The realignment is great, the addition of these new schools will be exciting, but we were itching to get going. We had planned a great offseason and to have it cut short this spring is a little frustrating.”

Like many schools, the Spring Lake staff planned to begin light workouts the week after school ends in May. With events like football practice likely off the schedule through the end of next month, there is plenty still left to figure out.

The added time has had a couple of benefits. The Laker staff has been able to share film with the team in online platforms, and it has allowed coaches to spend more time watching game tape of teams to unearth new schemes.

But with the enforced free time comes uncertainty. Start is most curious about just being able to see his team again.

“We’re excited for the opportunity to play, whenever that comes,” Start said. “The biggest part is that it just stinks to not be able to see the kids. We’d love to be able to check in with them and make sure they’re good. That’s been a challenge in the last few weeks.”

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