Shepherdstown, W.Va., – Shepherd University Football has a plan for competition this spring to roll the team into a typical season fall of 2021. The Shepherd University athletic programs are experiencing seasons much different than ever before.
Shepherd football stands optimistically about spring football. Fall of 2020 competition was devastatingly canceled due to COVID-19.
The program has high hopes for the athletes to get some action this spring of 2021, while preparing for the fall of 2021. Shepherd football has many loyal fans who are just as eager for as some competition as the coaches and athletes.
“The coaches are working on teaching the players how to have a productive preseason camp and help them understand the best way to prepare leading them to a successful season in the fall,” said head coach Ernie McCook.
The team is currently in a conditioning phase of their spring season. The program is in a four phase build up.
Phase one is conditioning, skills, drills, and working the players to get back into shape. Phase two is a refresh and introduction to a typical spring football format where they will have three practices a week, for two weeks. Phase three is a three-week simulation of preseason camp.
Phase four is two weeks of game week simulation, a typical game week, “at this time we hope we will have outside competition in the form of a game, scrimmage or even joint practice with another school,” said Coach McCook.
The football program is working hard to prepare to play football during these difficult circumstances.
Coach McCook said, “through all of the four phases of the spring season, we are always going to adhere to Covid protocols to keep our team safe.”
Many student athletes are making major decisions affect their next few years of athletics. They are deciding to graduate without their last year of competition or deciding to extend their academic career with hopes for the opportunity to finish out their last year of eligibility as an athlete.
“We would also like to share our deepest appreciation and excitement for our 2020 Senior Class. Many of these young men have extended their eligibility and academic careers to be a part of the 2021 football season,” said McCook.
Coach McCook noted, “Our team has demonstrated an unbelievable grit, determination, and resilience during this time,” and that their program is optimistic for spring practices and for potential outside competition in April.
The football program is focusing on working hard for a successful fall season with hopes and plans of competition this spring to help them prepare.
This summer will also bring more opportunities for the football team as they plan to hold conditioning for the preseason camp.
The opening game kickoff will be Fall 2021, Thursday night against Ohio Dominican University in Columbus Ohio.