The difficulties of playing games on a short week

Published 2:14 pm Friday, September 6, 2019

Between severe thunderstorms during week one and Hurricane Dorian barreling into eastern North Carolina this weekend, the Northside Panthers could be on pace to play a football game on every day of the week.

The Panthers so far, have played on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The difficulties in rescheduling can already be a tedious process, but playing games on short notice is a different challenge.

For a Wednesday game, you get one full day of practice and a Tuesday walk-through, which means no pads, just helmets. That’s not exactly giving teams much time to study film and install certain plays that might work against a defense or offense.

Head coach of the Panthers, Keith Boyd talked about the struggles of a short week and how he noticed it in the play of his athletes on Wednesday night.

“I’ll say this, when you play on a Monday, turn around and play on a Friday, have one full day of practice and then play Wednesday again, you’re going to be sloppy,” Boyd said. “At that point, you’re playing more games than you are practicing. I thought it was the best thing to do to go ahead and get this ball game in, but I think the kids got a chance to see that one day of practice — and a sloppy one at that — isn’t how you come out and play good football. But, they were able to see it without taking a loss, hopefully they take that to heart and we get better with it.”

On such a short week of preparation, Boyd explained how he adjusted to Wednesday’s game.

“You just have to cram it all in,” Boyd said. “We went an extra hour to try and cover everything, but it’s like doing anything else, you try and do so much, that you might not be doing anything good because you’re rushing through everything trying to make sure everything is covered.”

Despite a very peculiar three weeks of football for the Northside Panthers, they boast an undefeated, 3-0 record. They will get a full week of preparation next week, barring any damages that Hurricane Dorian left behind. The Panthers will have over a week to heal their bodies before hosting the Washington Pam Pack next Friday night in Pinetown.