New Timberland High School football coach Greg Wright has been dealt lemons but they’re making lemonade out in St. Stephen.
Phasing in to football season with safety guidelines to follow because of COVID-19, including social distancing, has not allowed football teams to hit the ground running this summer but Wright and company aren’t complaining. They’re making the best out of a situation that is less than ideal.
“We’ve had some really good numbers,” said Wright, a former Cross High School player who took over for Art Craig. “We’ve had some good leadership. It helps when you’ve got some coaches who have been there for years. They know the kids. That’s helped with the transition.”
Seven current assistants stayed on after Art Craig left for Hanahan High School. Wright, who was at Denmark-Olar, might be able to add one or two more as school approaches in August.
“I love the organization of how we have things right now,” Wright said. “With smaller groups, you can slow it down and be more detailed. It’s very important for us because we’re coming up with a new system with some new terminology. It’s been beneficial for us, getting our kids to understand the concepts and making sure everybody is teaching and seeing the same thing.”
The energy level has been high each day. The Wolves have won 14 region titles in 15 seasons and finished in the third round of the playoffs for the fourth straight season last year.
“We’ve been having great practices,” Wright said. “These kids are motivated.”
As June turned into July, though, Berkeley County School District fall sports programs were still in phase one of their return to sports. Phase two would bring in more sports equipment but with positive COVID-19 cases reported by the state over 1,000 each day recently, football season still seems a long way off.
On June 30, the Charleston County School District and Dorchester District 2 shut down training until at least later this month.
There has even been talk of flipping the seasons and having spring sports in the fall and vice versa.
“I hope we’re going to get football (in the fall),” Wright said. “We’re praying that we will. We understand it’s a serious matter. We’re taking precautions, making sure our kids are safe at all times. That’s the most important thing. We do hope we can get back to normalcy but that remains to be seen.”