CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - The Charlotte 49ers spring football game was scheduled to kickoff this past Saturday, but due to COVID-19, that game and half of their spring football practices were cancelled. But there are a few positives.
In these days of social distancing, family time is on the rise and that’s a great thing for football coaches who don’t get much of that during a busy football season.
“We have an unbelievable opportunity as husbands and fathers to be with our families and to enjoy time with them,” said Charlotte 49ers head coach Will Healy. “We got a couple of coaches that their families haven’t moved here yet so this gave them an opportunity to go back home, be with their families, and that’s what it’s about. If that’s what you want your culture to be about then you better live it.”
On the negative side of things, now would be the time where coaches would be recruiting the next class of 49ers. This virus has put a halt to person to person visits and it could have a big effect on recruiting.
“You’re missing a couple of junior days that we had a lot of success with a year ago,” said coach. “We had some official visits with some guys that were transferring from some other places that got cancelled. So now they have had the chance to visit other schools but they haven’t been to visit ours and the pressure is starting to ramp up to commit to other places. So you’re behind the eight ball a little bit. So we got to be creative whether it’s Facetiming or texting or calling to keep ourselves relevant and to keep the buzz going.”
While the Niners spring game was cancelled, they got in 7 practices before everything shutdown. Some programs who have later spring practices didn’t get in any time of the field so advantage Charlotte.
“When we get into fall camp as those guys are doing stuff on their own in the summer, they understand what we are trying to get accomplished," said coach. “We are able to show them some film and be able to critic them on them doing it. I think we are in a really good spot. We need to handle this situation correctly. We need to make sure guys get back healthy as quickly as possible and we are doing our part.”
That part right now for coach and his staff is staying on top of the guys as they are home, but continuing their college education.
“A lot of these guys are going home so the structure and the resources that they have at home are different than what they have here. There’s not tutors. There’s not an academic center for them to go into everyday and ask questions. So they have to be proactive. But we as a staff have to be on these guys daily about where they are academically. If they are talking with someone from our staff everyday, I think it will help them stay involved and keep our program at the fore front of their minds and us stay connected. We are academic coaches right now and we need to make sure they are having success.”
The coaches certainly want to make sure every body is ready to go September 5th when Charlotte opens up against Tennessee.