Though the first to admit he’s no spring chicken, such didn’t keep Conway football coach Chuck Jordan from channeling the strength of his youth in an effort to assist those affected by Hurricane Matthew.
Even as he and a number of the school’s student-athletes removed debris and other items from the homes of elderly residents, the longtime Tigers’ head man couldn’t help but anticipate some return to normalcy.
“It’s a blessing to be of great help to your community, setting an example and a positive image to all,” Jordan said. “But I’ll admit, I’m ready to get back in school. I can assure you this, it’s easier to control a football practice than when you have to monitor 45 kids and there are a few chainsaws floating around.”
While the healing process from the storm is ongoing, things took a positive step toward ‘business as usual,’ students in Georgetown and Horry counties returning to school. And for local student-athletes, the resumption of extracurricular activities.
Keeping track of players during the storm, texting and communicating, making sure everyone survived it reasonably well was the important part. But getting back to practice — especially after nearly two weeks off — the goal for many of us coaches may be reteaching everything and getting back to fundamentals … I sort of liken it to boot camp.
Socastee football coach Doug Illing
Typically practice is the least appealing part of the week, more than a week away from the grind had both coaches and players anxious to get back to work.
“Keeping track of players during the storm, texting and communicating, making sure everyone survived it reasonably well was the important part,” said Socastee football coach Doug Illing. “But getting back to practice — especially after nearly two weeks off — the goal for many of us coaches may be reteaching everything and getting back to fundamentals … I sort of liken it to boot camp.”
In addition to the Xs and Os, coaches found themselves worry about how their players spent the time away from school and the practice field. For smaller teams with far less depth than others in higher classifications, the task of getting back into "game shape" proves rather daunting.
“It’s one of the main things I’m worried about. It may take a whole week for us to get back into shape,” said Green Sea Floyds head coach Tony Sullivan. “I don’t know how we’ll deal with attrition and cramps, so conditioning may be the biggest thing we’re dealing with in the aftermath of the hurricane. It’s kind of like starting the season all over again.”
Despite the inconvenience, the most important things are intact — aside from a few possessions, no coaches or players lost their lives, nor did their loved ones. Now less important matters may come back into full focus … like football.
“There are some things you just can’t control, and you just have to adjust,” said North Myrtle Beach football coach Blair Hardin. “The biggest thing for us is that everyone was safe. Once that was taken care of, then we could get back to the business of football.”