Southwest varsity football players prepare for unusual season

The Southwest Varsity football team has been preparing for their season differently than they ever have before, given the circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic. Their preparation consists of going over plays through Zoom meetings and players getting together in small groups to stay in shape to prepare themselves when the season rolls around in December.

John Haines has been coaching for 18 years and is heading into his second year as the Southwest football varsity head coach.

“(We are) taking advantage of Zoom and online meetings with the team Monday through Thursday to go over our plays and make sure our players know the concepts of them,” Haines said.

With COVID-19 shutting down numerous locations in the Imperial Valley, it has made it difficult for players to train. However, that didn’t stop Carlos Salcedo, 16, from staying in shape for the season. Salcedo is the Southwest varsity football team captain. This will be his second year playing linebacker.

Salcedo said, “I’ve been lifting, staying healthy and staying in condition, and also keeping up with the Zoom meetings.”

With the season getting pushed back due to COVID-19, some players find it as an advantage; however, others see it as a disadvantage. Cooper Dickerson, 17, is in his second year with the Southwest varsity football team playing the position of linebacker.

Dickerson said, “I feel like it’s an advantage in some instance for us to get better as a team to get plays down and work on our chemistry, but it may be a disadvantage as well because some of us are used to playing in the heat this will be a change we’re going to have to adapt to.”

With the players focusing on the upcoming season in December, they have their minds set on goals they want to accomplish as a team this year. They said they want to be better than last season.

Seneca Haines, 17, is in his second season with the Southwest varsity team. He plays center and defensive end.

“The biggest thing that we want to do as a team this season is just perform and go out and win games,” he said. “We have to work hard every day. We just simply have to want it more than our opponent each week.”

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