WILSON, Ark. (KAIT) - With the majority of Northeast Arkansas in the red zone for COVID-19 cases, football teams have been affected one way or another.
In Wilson, the Rivercrest Colts, undefeated heading into Friday’s game, have done their best to sidestep COVID-19, and so far, they’ve been able to do just that.
“The kids are doing a great job with social distancing when they can,” Head Coach Johnny Fleming said. “They are making sure they are wearing their mask and just doing what they need to do.”
Coach Fleming said COVID-19 presented challenges to the Colts from the very beginning, adding the proper protocols have been emphasized and followed by staff and players.
“I’m going to give most of that to our Superintendent, Mrs. Sally Bennett,” Fleming said. “She’s been strict on us about making sure that we stick to protocols.”
Coach Fleming and senior quarterback Kamron Turner both mentioned that in some ways, COVID-19 protocols helped them in the passing game.
Before practices started, Coach Fleming said the majority of his seniors, including Turner, were working out on their own time away from school and preparing for the season that, at that time, wasn’t a certainty to be played.
When practices were able to begin in June, teams couldn’t hand off the football to their running backs.
“They had to be passes,” Fleming said, referring to the team practices in the early summer. “We started working on passes from day one, and it’s paid off during the season.”
According to Coach Fleming, the Colts have already broken over 50 school records offensively.
He attributed it to the work put in over the summer by the offense, including the quarterback.
“It’s just been different,” Turner said. “I’ve tried to encourage my teammates to do the best they can. My offensive line has been doing a great job every game, protecting me. I’ve been getting the ball to my great receivers.”