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Football ready for its turn to play

South Boston News
Players listen as first year HCHS head football coach Robert Senseney talks about upcoming practices. With the weather, Friday’s season opener on the road at Magna Vista has been canceled. The Comets now plan to open their season March 5, hosting Bassett. (David Conner II photo) / February 22, 2021

The Halifax County High School varsity football squad got in minimal practice time last week as the Comets prepare for the 2021 season.

It had been over a year since most players have been on the field. The last time the Comets played, they were hosting a 2019 Region 4D opening tournament round game versus GW-Danville, a 27-6 loss.

And getting back on the field will take a bit longer as the season opener set for Friday at Magna Vista has been canceled.

The Comets will now open at home March 5, taking on Bassett.

Given the ongoing challenges COVID-19 continues to present, a week full of winter weather last week that halted practices and just getting back into the swing of things, the Comets have their work cut out for them.

First year head coach Robert Senseney said he and his coaching staff are ready to roll with what they have.

“Right now the weather is our biggest issue,” Senseney said. “Making sure we’re covering all the COVID protocols.”

Senseney said conditioning, learning offensive and defensive schemes will all be accelerated. He said the guys understand that in a shortened season things will definitely be different.

“Just trying to get kids in safely and get some practices together,” he said. “We just haven’t been able to do that.”

A look at the schools in the Piedmont District shows all schools pushing back or canceling their first games. Senseney acknowledged that most schools opted to do just that to get in another week of practice.

Not only did the winter weather cause issues on the highway, several families lost power.

“This weather being so bad, people losing power, trying to get kids from the other part of the county here — safety is our priority,” said Senseney.

“We never want to put kids in harm’s way; and too, we had kids that had to go and help family that didn’t have power. We still had good turnout for the two good days in a row but we’re still missing some kids.”

Senseney said the players will start suiting up at this week’s practices. With all the other challenges, add in the fact football is not a winter sport and that presents another hurdle to overcome.

“We have pieced together enough practices to move in our progression as far as equipment. We’ll be in shoulder pads this week,” Senseney said.

“Football is not a winter sport. Covid is extremely tough, then you add weather on top of that. Now you making an extremely tough situation tougher.

“On top of everything, we had success in basketball. So it was some days we couldn’t get in the gym because they were practicing. It’s tough to do it in the fall. [Football is] just not designed to be played at this time.”

He said with good weather in the forecast, hopefully the team would start getting some more consistency in workouts.

“We can’t get in that groove,” Senseney said. “In football you can’t play a couple days, then take a couple days off … it just doesn’t work that way.”

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