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Comets prepare for challenges of winter football; first game March 5 / February 25, 2021

When Robert Senseney took over head coaching duties for the Halifax County High School varsity football program he knew he had a job cut out for him.

A new coach is coming to the team on the heels of the Comets hosting their first region tournament games in several years — capping off a successful 2019 season. Add to that just the phrase COVID-19 and the challenges quickly come to light.

Since day one Senseney hasn’t let these obstacles drown out his plans for a solid football season. The coach has said since he took the helm that, “We have a plan.”

The plan goes into action as the Comets prepare for their opener March 5 at home against Bassett.

Now that the guys are getting in shoulder pads this week — full gear will come next week sometime — learning new offensive and defensive schemes are part of what the team is working on. Senseney that with the shortened preparation time, facets of both will be implemented.

Time just doesn’t allow the team to learn entire formats in the time fame allotted. The Comets like most area teams missed nearly a week of practice last week due to winter weather conditions and power outages.

“Offensively we will be a gun team,” Senseney said. “We’ll have multiple receiver sets. We really want to get into multiple personnel groups where we have sometimes multiple tight-ends in, but I don’t know if we’ll get to that.”

The defense will be stripped down also until time allows for learning the full scheme. “We’ll be an even front defense and we’ll be multiple safeties.”

Still, Senseney said the weather more so than COVID-19 has been behind the delays. They continue to be aggressive practicing safety protocols.

Senseney said last week even though different leagues were trying football outside of the normal time of competition, for most it just wasn’t working. He said it’s a hurdle they will overcome but the game of football is just not meant for this time of year.

That’s why recreational, scholastic, college and professional sports don’t play during full seasons during the winter and spring. Senseney says it’s not an excuse but just a fact.

“The weather has made us herky-jerky,” Senseney said. “We just haven’t been able to stream our practices together. It’s kind of hard to be here two days and then off for three or four days.

“I will stand behind this statement 100 percent; Football is not designed to be played in winter, it’s just not. It’s a mess and just not here locally; it can’t be helped right now, it’s nobody’s fault.

“That’s why all these other leagues even on the professional level haven’t succeeded with all these springs leagues; its (football) just not meant to be. It’s a summer, fall sport and I’ll be glad when can get back to those days.”

For right now though Senseney said he and his coaching staff will have the kids prepared to play Comet football this season. But it will continue to be a challenge.

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