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Nordhoff High football inching closer to 2021 season

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Ojai Valley News photo by Ken Brown
Like other high school sports programs throughout California, the Nordhoff football program is working hard to navigate COVID-19 protocols. At a recent conditioning session the Rangers get in some work while being socially distant. 

Mike Miller, Ojai Valley News sports editor
Sometimes it seems like progress is slow and often painfully so, but the Nordhoff High School football program continues to make progress towards it 2021 season. The NHS coaching staff, players and parents are having to make some adjustments and navigate complicated safety protocols around COVID-19, but according to head coach Lance Wiggins, progress is being made. 
“Well, I’ll start by saying we’ve been at it for four weeks now and we haven’t had any issues. I’ll also say that our players are doing everything we ask of them and parents have been extremely supportive,” said Wiggins. 
However, there have been plenty of complications and challenges that everyone involved has had to address. Wiggins said, “Our schedules and rotations are all over the place and it’s been a challenge to coordinate. Normally, I am a coach that is very organized and our schedule is right on but with COVID, it’s nearly impossible. We do our lifting in shifts and then we wipe down all of the equipment and then wait seven hours before the next group comes in to lift. Then, when we are on the field, we are grouped into pods and those groups have to be placed in different areas. And, that is just for starters.”
While Wiggins and his staff are comfortable with their own internal processes, in reality, their ability to get back on the field could be in the hands of other programs and communities. “We can do all of the right things but if other programs aren’t doing their part, the whole thing could fail and that is difficult to think about,” added Wiggins. 
At this point in time, the Rangers have 12 more practice sessions before they break for the Thanksgiving holiday and then if all goes well, the team will return to action in early December and then in mid-December they would ideally start live contact drills. 
 “Right now we are installing plays and blocking schemes, so we are able where we would like to be at this point of the process, but getting to the next phase will be really important and ultimately we need to get to the point we can have physical contact. There are a lot of things that need to take place between now and then. As a staff, we just keep telling the players and each other that we all need to be self-accountable and do the right things,” said Wiggins.
If California High School football teams can avoid any COVID related setbacks, the Rangers are scheduled to the 2021 season when they host the Dos Pueblos Chargers Jan. 8. 

 

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