Walnut Ridge boys basketball grateful to be playing; coach discusses COVID concerns

Team Works to Stay Healthy Through COVID-19

WALNUT RIDGE, Ark. (KAIT) - The Walnut Ridge Bobcats, like every team in the state, are trying to balance competing on the court and staying healthy off of it.

The Bobcats have already been forced to reschedule two games this season due to circumstances out of their control. Head Coach Blake Coffman says a big challenge is keeping the team focused on one game at a time.

“You never know what the week’s going to bring,” he said. “We’re excited to be able to play. In the summer, it was very scary thinking that right off the bat we’re worried that we might not even have a season.”

Now, Walnut Ridge is 11 games into the season. Coffman, a third-year head coach, says preparing for this season has been different than most years.

Fortunately, they’ve yet to get hit with COVID, but they have had to reschedule games with other teams who have.

“One team had it, and then the officials had to be quarantined so we had to miss another game,” he said. “It’s just a completely different environment, our kids are trying to stay away from other kids as in, not getting contact traced back to them.”

Despite the differences in coaching a team during a pandemic, there is one goal that remains the same.

“We’re in a spot where, at the end of the season, we might be able to make a run,” Coffman said. “Hopefully [we can] get in the top four in the district, move on to the next round and win a game and go to the state tournament.”

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