Things started to feel a little bit normal in Columbus. The Blue Devils coaches and the players were back together working on getting better for the 2020 season. However Columbus Head Football Phil Marino knows that the players didn’t miss everything about him at practice.
“It’s great to see the kids. I know they were pretty excited to get here. I’m not too sure they were glad to hear my voice again,” said Marino.
Even after decades of coaching this off season has been unique for Coach Marino.
“In 38 years never. I have never seen anything like this and to get out of a rhythm. You know 38 years of meeting in the summer time and doing the things that we’ve done. It’s something that I’ve never seen before, but it’s something we’ll all have to get used to,” said Marino.
Columbus High School have adjusted their practices to include the GHSA health precautions. That includes temperature checks prior to practice, some coaches wearing masks and players bringing their own water bottles to practice. Even with all these changes the Blue Devils are still focusing on getting back in shape.
“We’re just worried about our guys getting into shape because I’m concerned that when we get into the season if they’re not in shape we may have injuries that won’t help us out with what’s going on,” said Marino.
Last season the injury bug hit the Blue Devils hard on their way to a 1-9 regular season. However Coach Marino is excited about the skill players coming back in 2020.
“We had 5 or 6 injuries that really put us behind the 8 ball. You know JP should be clear to play our quarterback so we’re looking forward to get him back. But we have some really good skill players. We’re just looking at our lineman to step up. We may have to play a few young guys there. It’s always the next man up and we’ll see what happens,” said Marino.
While things are slowly getting back to normal, head coach Marino is emphasizing to his players to keep up with health guidelines.
“I just told them before we left. You know stay safe. Stay away from one another. If you want to have a football season then we have to do the right things in order to be safe and to be able to have a season,” said Marino.
The Blue Devils are scheduled to start their season on August 21st against Northside.