Cavaliers adjust to different summer
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
During his 15 seasons as Callaway’s head football coach, Pete Wiggins has put together a carefully structured offseason schedule.
This year, that schedule got thrown out the window because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Successful teams find ways to overcome challenges, though, and Wiggins is proud of the way the players have handled these difficult times.
“It’s just like practice every day,” Wiggins said. “There’s always going to be adversity, and we’re looking at the situation as adversity, or bumps in the road, and we have to overcome them and keep going and keep working toward our goal, and that’s to get better and I think our kids are doing that.”
Callaway’s usual summer includes position camps, seven-on-seven competitions, 11-on-11 scrimmages, and daily workout sessions at the school.
Most of that has been disallowed this summer, although Callaway’s players have been able to work out at the school since June 8, with a whole bunch of restrictions.
Those restrictions have been loosened as the summer has gone along, and last week the players were allowed to wear helmets for the first time.
“It’s been a big deal to get to put on the helmets,” Wiggins said. “Number one, I think it’s a positive sign. It’s a sign that we’re moving forward to things being back to normal. Hopefully we can continue getting better and hearing more good news as far as the opportunity to get back on the field.”
Last week, the Georgia High School Association announced that the season will go on, although everything has been pushed back two weeks, so the regular season will now begin on Sept. 4 instead of Aug. 21.
For Callaway, the change in schedule means its games against Opelika and Dothan likely won’t be played since those schools are in Alabama.
At the moment, the Cavaliers only have seven games on their regular-season schedule, although they do have two preseason games.
Nonetheless, Wiggins is happy to know that it appears as though there will be a season, and in a matter of weeks the Cavaliers will be able to put the pads on and play another team.
“In the big picture, it’s been a long time since there’s been competition,” Wiggins said. “You go back to last football season, with no seven-on-sevens, no camps, no OTAs. So, just the opportunity of a game down the road is big for the kids. We’re looking forward to that, and hopefully soon.”
Callaway has two preseason games scheduled, one at home against Harris County on Aug. 21, and one on the road against Darlington on Aug. 28.
Callaway was supposed to open the regular season against Opelika, but if that game isn’t played, the new opener will be against Troup on Sept. 11.
Callaway went 12-2 last season and reached the state semifinals for the second consecutive season and for the fourth time since 2013.