SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The Roosevelt football team has had back-to-back contests canceled because of COVID-19, and hasn’t played an actual game in 20 days. The top-ranked Rough Riders are disappointed they haven’t been able to play, but are focusing on making the most out of an unusual situation.
Roosevelt opened the season with five straight wins, including four over ranked opponents. But without a game for the last two weeks, it’s been an adjustment for head coach Kim Nelson.
“It’s hard to sometimes keep the same routine when you’re not getting ready for a team. But at the same time your team stays healthy, and you can work on some fundamentals maybe that would be nice to work on midseason,” Nelson said.
The two-week bye has shown Nelson the type of leaders he has in his locker room.
“I still feel like we came with even more energy since we didn’t have a game, because we knew we just had to keep getting better because everyone else gets those game reps that we don’t. So everyday at practice is a little more intense,” Senior Defensive Back Joey Hughes said.
Last week, the Rough Riders got their game reps with an intrasquad scrimmage.
“We just split up the teams, split up the coaching staff and it got pretty competitive. It’s obviously different, but we’re not thinking of it that we’re at a disadvantage or anything,” Hughes said.
Perhaps the biggest lesson the Roosevelt players have learned during this two week hiatus, is to not take anything for granted.
“We know that like this week could be our last week. You never know could be going on, what could be shut down. So we’re just practicing and then, eventually when the game does come around, we’re going to play like it’s our last every single play,” Senior Offensive Lineman Sam Kohls said.
Roosevelt plays at Watertown on Friday. Kickoff is set for 7:00.