Section 2 coaches adjusting to spring schedule as they await fall II season


Albany, N.Y. — Every fall, fans pack high school stadiums and gyms for big time football and volleyball games, but this year — they will be empty.

“This would have been my 25th year coaching football, so this is the first time ever,” Averill Park football coach Zach Gobel said.

“This past weekend was my first weekend without volleyball in 30 years,” Burnt Hills volleyball coach Gary Bynon said.

“1999. That was the last time, August and September, didn’t have football in some way shape or form in my life,” Stillwater football coach Ian Godfrey said.

NYSPHSAA’s decision for a Fall II season this spring has Section 2 football and volleyball coaches adjusting to have their players ready come March 1st.

“A lot of the in-shape stuff we’ve done, we’ve done virtually with them,” Gobel said. “They’re recording the workouts, we’re sending them workouts to be done.”

“I basically gave them two sets of things,” Troy football coach Bob Burns said. “If you’re going to be able to get to use some weights this is what you should do and here’s some body weight stuff.”

“If a kid doesn’t have access to WiFi at home and we’re doing a Zoom meet I’ll get on the phone with him if I have to,” Gobel said.

“I cannot give our kids enough credit,” Godfrey said. “Just how mentally tough they’ve been, and resilient. Disappointed no doubt but hungry and hopeful for a March season.”

The silver lining for spring seasons is a chance at postseason play.

“We gotta play for something,” Burns said. “My kids really want to play for some type of championship and a sectional championship would be important to them.”

“We just want to get that chance and maybe we’ll get some postseason chances in the spring,” Bynon said.

“I don’t see why we couldn’t try to give them something like that,” Godfrey said. “Some type of goal, some type of playoff at the end of the season, and I’ve got to imagine that our leadership is feeling the same way about that.”

One of the biggest takeaways for these coaches is making sure no one takes their season for granted.

“It’s about being with people, being with people you care about,” Gobel said. “That’s really what we’re about in this business.”

“When that day comes when you’re not playing football anymore and you roll over and look at six o’clock on your clock,” Burns said. “You’ll wish that you were coming to those workouts.”

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