The Bobcats kick off their 2020 campaign against MACJC South Division rival East Central CC at home Oct. 1 at 7 p.m. Due to COVID-19, the Bobcats will play six conference games instead of the traditional nine, so every game is magnified and crucial for the Bobcats’ postseason hopes.
Head Football coach Steve Buckley feels confident that his players will be ready to start the season off strong.
“Well their future depends on it. Our number 1 goal in our program is to get kids to the next level,” he said. “And it’s not hard to get our kids focused on football because they understand that to get to the next level, they have to produce academically and athletically. This is their chance because half of my team graduates in December.”
It hasn’t been easy trying to balance COVID-19 and preparing for the season, but the players have been doing so since the opening of camp. Sophomore Tight End Raisah Ruffin is very comfortable about where his teammates are.
“Just paying attention, they have gotten better physically and mentally too,” Ruffin said. “Overall it’s been a good progress … like the returners I’ve seen, they have gotten stronger faster and smarter through the fact of their football style in the way they hustle,” said Ruffin. “The young guys pick up pretty fast. I’m not gonna lie, they are really talented. I know the new freshman tight end that we have. He is way ahead of me from where I was as a freshman when I first got here… just looking at them they are going to be a tight team.”
The team has also dealt with the new guidelines amid the pandemic. It is important to keep players and the students safe, and the school has done it perfectly thus far.
“Our school has set tremendous guidelines for us to follow,” said Buckley. “We’ve been here for a month, we do temperature checks every day, we do social distancing, we wear masks, we have contact tracers on every meeting room, and practice is a little bit differently obviously…but we are working through the guidelines that the college has laid out for us.
“It has been a challenge, but our kids are working through it very well,” he said. “Eventually it has become second nature to them, but it has been very difficult to not have our kids here in July. We take that month, and that’s when we do our conditioning and to get everyone in shape, and everything was pushed back a month.”
The Bobcats recently finished training camp and are now beginning to prep for the East Central matchup.
by Caleb Harris