Bring on your lemons, world.
Sullivan Central head football coach Chris Steger has been making lemonade since the first day of June.
Everybody is contending with the pandemic, but Steger hasn’t let it throw shade on his positive outlook. He said he likes being around the kids, and even the offseason weight room is something he greatly enjoys.
So when the pandemic lockdown ended, Steger was one of the happiest campers.
“When we got together in June, it was good to build those relationships again,” Steger said. “We had kids yell across the stadium at people they hadn’t been around in a while, saying it was good to see them. The positive was you got to be together again.”
It has been almost two months since that reunion, but Steger is still finding ways to keep the outlook trending upward. Most noticeably it has been overcoming health-guideline limits, subverting them in a good way by using the time to explain the game of football more thoroughly — a luxury often lost in the dust of preseason offensive and defensive reps.
“We started explaining things and giving more insight to what the coaches are thinking,” Steger said. “We’ve been able to teach football from the way the coaches look at it. That part of this situation is really good. It’s a little less about playing the game and more on the whys.”
Steger equated other preseasons to undergraduate work.
“This year we are digging a little deeper,” he said. “It’s more like a master’s level class.”
Another thing Steger has done is keep his players out of the weight room — but they are still lifting weights.
“We haven’t been in the weight room since we came back,” he said. “We have taken the plates outside and gotten good workouts. We sanitize the plates between sessions.
“This was something we felt was the best decision for us with our facilities. It would be very tough to socially distance in our weight room. We thought being inside was not the best use of time.”
Steger said his team hasn’t focused on what may or may not be ahead in August and beyond.
“We haven’t talked about when we’re going to play or what it will look like,” he said. “We are focusing on what we can do. It’s coach speak, but we want to control the controllable things. We want to do anything we can do to focus on the positives. Overall it has been a positive experience for our kids.”