By Dency McClure
I received a message from Coach Guereca shortly before leaving for Iredell. He was telling me where to enter the campus, and that I needed to have a mask on, and that he would have to check my temperature. All pretty standard things in this day and age. I have just learned to stay prepared and go with the flow.
Once I got out of my car, I could hear the music and the sound of weights clinking. Coach Guereca was watching for me and signaled me in to the gym to take my temperature. I have to admit I was a bit worried, as it was very hot outside, that my body temp might be up and he would need to send me packing. Thankfully, I passed the test, and we went on with our plans. I watched the boys finish lifting and I have to say they have a very nice weight room.
I followed one of the younger boys who was taking supplies to the field. I was immediately struck by the huge oak trees set back from the end of the field. I can’t even begin to imagine how old they are. It may have been the heat more than their beauty that drew me to their shade. At 4:30 in the afternoon in August, it is hot. The school has put nice tables under them for people to enjoy. Yep, I set myself and my water down under the biggest one while I waited on the boys and coaches.
Every precaution possible was taken for keeping Covid away at Iredell ISD. The waterboys wore gloves and masks. All the coaches and any kids watching were also in masks. Not to mention me, too. It was definitely hot in a mask with the heat. But I wasn’t about to miss taking pictures. Luckily, I was able to stand in the shade of the big trees and take photos of the boys on the practice field. The shade actually extended onto the practice field a little bit. Plus, there was a glorious breeze that blew every now and again.
The stadium field backs up to the practice field. All that separates them is a field goal. All the grass was a beautiful green and a creek runs alongside both. I walked over to look and there is a bit of a sharp drop to the water. Definitely not the dry area of Texas I live in now. There is a nice playground with a sun cover as well as a covered area with tables and chairs for the concession stand. The area is well laid out and impressive.
As I enjoyed my shade for taking photos, I wondered how on earth the coaches kept their mask on in the direct sun and heat. They really didn’t seem too bothered by it. I’m guessing they have gotten used to it and are more concerned with what is going on in the practice. During a water break, they asked me where I had been so far and where I was planning to go. I have so many on my list it took me a moment to think of any. I finally was able to name a few after my short brain lapse.
Iredell has a nice number of players. Enough to play with a few extra for rotation and support. Even though it was hot the boys did well and worked together. Defense and tackle drills were the main event for the day. I had told Coach Guereca not to worry about me. That at some point he would look up and I would be gone. With not too much longer left in practice, I decided to head for the car and get the AC going.
See you on the sidelines!
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