Warhorse football takes the field

Players, coaches, and even parents got their first Monday of August kicked off in the right direction as Devine Warhorse football hit the field for the start of two-a-day practices. Due to the cancellation of last year’s ‘spring football’ due to COVID, it was definitely a great site to see the Warhorse players dressed in t-shirt, shorts, and helmet while Head Coach Paul Gomez and his staff coached up their position players.
Gomez stated the first day “went well and was really proud of the boys.” Although the Summer Strength and Conditioning Camp helped immensely with some conditioning issues that normally arise during the summer months, the time off the players had to have from camp due to COVID flare-ups definitely messed with their “normal” routines.
“They really fought through conditioning and had great focus and intensity during the football-portion of the workout,” Gomez said. “Our leadership was good and I think out boys understand how hard they have to work to get a great outcome!”
Key words to take away from Gomez’s quote are “leadership”, “focus”, and “intensity”. Those three traits make up any successful person’s characteristics. When it comes to football, especially Warhorse football, those three traits are the signs of great, winning programs, which Devine football has certainly been for the better part of the last three decades.
Although the number of players on the first day of practice was not as high as it has been in recent years, the situation surrounding this season has some parents and players understandably concerned. However, Gomez, along with Athletic Trainer Ruben “Doc” Alston, and Athletic Director Chad Quisenberry are doing everything in their power to keep all as safe as humanly possible.
Gomez concluded with what may be the most important bit of information for all to hear. Regarding health and safety practices, he said, “We are screening to enter, providing hand sanitizer, and performing temperature and symptom checks. All players and coaches are wearing masks at all times. Yes, we will even wear masks during games. Equipment is sanitized before, during, and after workouts. Players must bring their own water jugs and we have refining stations where our trainers with gloves and masks can refill water without mixing it up with the other players. We are also allowing players to take workout clothes home to wash so that it does not mix with other laundry. We just want parents to know that we our doing our best to keep the boys safe and still allow them to play this sport that teaches so many life lessons.”
Evan Eads, varsity linebacker and freshman lead coach, said this regarding the first day of two-a-days, “It was amazing to work with kids again. Devine had a great day today, there were lots of thata boy, great job, way to talk, etc. Football is back!!!!”
Eads was also instrumental coaching and developing kids during the Summer Strength and Conditioning program. Volunteering his own summer time, which meant time away from wife, Cassandra, and daughter Esme, to coach and teach kids in all Devine sports programs says a lot about his dedication to his high school alma mater.
Eads’ time was not spent solely coaching varsity level kids. Like all Devine coaches, Eads does not only care about the varsity team. He cares about each athletic program’s players in its entirety no matter if it is middle school players he is coaching or the sub-varsity high school players.
Thanks to the summer program, he was able to work with all levels including many of the incoming ninth graders that will be on his freshman team in 2020.
“For the first two weeks of summer workout the freshman averaged around 20 players,” he said. “We got a good chance to go over the offense. This is a hungry group of kids. They want to compete. After the 4th of July break, our numbers went down and we understand why completely. Whoever shows up on Monday, we will do all that is in our power to keep them safe and start their high school career the right way!!!!”
One of the better tweets leading off the 2020 football season came from the “Warhorse Nation@DHSDWFootball” Twitter account.
It read, “This season will be turbulent. “WE” must be ready. “WE” must be flexible. “WE” can only focus on what is in our control. Let’s show up at 6:30am and make it the best first day. “WE” can!!! Bring a mask, water jug, and every ounce of effort you have.”
As the first week of practice is over halfway through and if you are a parent of someone who is currently in two-a-day practices or a player who is going through workouts, you are in great hands with Gomez and his staff.
If you are a parent of a player who is experiencing doubts about playing or you are a player who has doubts about playing due to COVID or any other reason, your feelings are very much understandable during this time. Like WarhorseNation tweeted “times are turbulent” and they will continue to be for the near future.
More times than not, coaches have reached out to parents or players to try to get them to join up to be a part of something special. Those phones probably are not ringing off the hook as they have during this time of the season in past years. The coaches care about kids, ALL KIDS, whether they have a helmet strapped on or not.
My take
The decision to let your son play football is a big one, regardless of today’s current climate. If you feel your child will be safe joining the program, encourage them to join. If not, that is okay too.
Regardless of playing status for any sport, the Warhorse and Arabian coaching family wants all families to stay safe and healthy not only during this crazy Coronavirus time, but at all times!
By Jerel Beaty
Staff Writer