Football coaches developing plans to navigate short offseason – Orange County Register

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Mater Dei High football coach Bruce Rollinson is well-known for his precise planning for practices, meetings and games but admits he isn’t sure when his team will begin offseason training.

“This is one of those gray areas,” he said after the Monarchs’ season-ending 34-17 victory against St. John Bosco last Saturday in the Trinity League championship game.

“I have a meeting with the medical personnel. I don’t know a lot about it. I don’t know what the right thing is to do but I got people, fortunately, that will advise me on how to properly do this.”

Welcome to the coronavirus offseason 2.0 for football.

Orange County’s season ended April 17 and now heads into an ultra-short offseason with some special circumstances.

After the fall season was delayed to the spring because of the pandemic, schools must decide how long they’re going to rest before resuming activities such as weight lifting and passing tournaments, which appear ready to resume.

Thom Simmons, assistant commissioner and spokesperson for the CIF Southern Section, said while teams are now in the offseason, there is no mandated breaks for activities such as weight lifting.

“It is a school decision,” he said.

Simmons also said the section’s traditional dead period has been waived for this summer but teams are still planning to take breaks.

Time, however, is of the essence. Fall practice begins in less than four months.

“We’re going to rest a little bit but then we got to come right back up and start getting ready,” said Rollinson, who added on Friday, April 23 that the Monarchs are still developing their plans.

San Clemente coach Jaime Ortiz said his team, which defeated Mission Viejo 10-7 for the South Coast League title on April 16, will take “about a week off.”

“We got some work to do,” Ortiz said last week with a chuckle.

Mission Viejo coach Chad Johnson said last week that his team would take two weeks off before starting its offseason march.

“We’re coming back in May for spring ball for four weeks and then we’re taking a dead period,” he said.

Western coach Dan Davidson said his team began lifting on Monday and will transition to speed and agility training next week.

“We will take 2 1/2 weeks off in July but will still have the weight room open four to five days a week,” he said.

The lure of club football remains this offseason but Servite coach Troy Thomas said many of his top players, including several juniors, are playing Season 2 sports this spring such as volleyball, lacrosse, wrestling and track and field.

Servite head coach Troy Thomas cheers for this players during a Trinity League game against Mater Dei at Santa Ana Stadium in Santa Ana on Saturday, April 3, 2021. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

“They need to get away from football,” Thomas said. “We’re going to still lift but our kids go run track, and wrestle. TMac (Tetairoa McMillan) is going play volleyball. I’m hoping these kids get away from it for a little bit and then we’ll get back at it.”

Passing league tournaments appear set to reclaim their status as an offseason highlight. With the number of coronavirus cases declining and the vaccine being more widely distributed, Los Alamitos, Edison and Mission Viejo have each scheduled their passing tournaments.

Los Alamitos’ Orlando Scandrick 7on7 passing tournament, sponsored by Scandrick’s 32 Cares Foundation, is scheduled for June 26 and aims to host 24 teams.

Edison’s Battle at the Beach passing tournament is slated for the following week on July 3 with Mission Viejo’s passing tournament and linemen competition planned for July 10.

Edison coach Jeff Grady said he expects his tournament to feature a full, 20-team lineup.

The Sunset League contender planned to take one week off before resuming offseason workouts and will also take a three-week break after its tournament. But like at Western, the weight room will be open.

“Since there is technically no dead period, we can have a coach open the weight room for the players during our break,” Grady said.

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