Trousdale County’s football players and coaches have adjusted well to restrictions on practice caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to coach Blake Satterfield.

The Yellow Jackets are in the first week of the mandatory two-week TSSAA dead period, in which players cannot practice or work with coaches.

But Satterfield said everyone is working hard and going on the assumption that the season will proceed as normal.

“We’ve been working three groups — we’ve got 58 kids on the team right now,” the coach said. “We’re rotating groups at 10 a.m., at 12:30 p.m. and another group at 3:30. We only went three days a week, but we got really good work in.”

Practice began the first week of June, with 10 players allowed on the field and 10 more in the weight room at any given time.

Satterfield said the changes to the practice routine might prove especially beneficial to incoming freshmen and sophomores, who might not get as many practice reps under normal conditions.

“They got coached up the same way our older guys were getting coached up, and I think that’s going to pay off. Not necessarily this year, but in the years to come and even in freshmen and JV games,” he said.

Satterfield said the routine made for long days, as he was on the practice field pretty much from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., but that the players had “great workouts.”

“Our kids are working hard; they’ve made great strides in the weight room and conditioning,” he said.

Practice is scheduled to resume on Monday, July 6 and players can put on pads beginning in late July under the current TSSAA schedule. Satterfield said how things proceed will depend on guidance from the TSSAA and state government.

“What I’m hearing from the TSSAA is their calendar is set,” he said. “Everything’s in place as long as your governor’s guidelines allow it. The state guidelines will have to be passed for us to be able to get in pads or have full contact.

“If we’re not back on a normal schedule… it’s going to be really hard to get kids ready to play by Aug. 14 in the jamboree.”

Trousdale County is scheduled to scrimmage against Upperman on July 31 and against Livingston Academy on Aug. 4, with both taking place in Hartsville. The Yellow Jackets plan to travel to Clarksville on Aug. 7 to scrimmage Lake County, just as was done last year.

The Tobacco Bowl Jamboree is currently scheduled for Aug. 14, with Trousdale to take on Shelbyville Central. A complete schedule will be forthcoming.

New coach at JSMS: Satterfield said that former TCHS star Kyle Gregory has been named the head coach at Jim Satterfield Middle School. Gregory will also return to his previous role as a TCHS assistant, where he served before taking a job at Westmoreland.

Also, Jacob Smith has been hired as an assistant at the high school. Smith comes from Riverside Military Academy in Gainesville, Georgia.

“Jacob was an offensive coordinator down there, and he will also be an assistant with (TCHS boys basketball coach) Ryan Sleeper as well,” Satterfield said.

Reach Chris Gregory at 615-374-3556 or cgregory@hartsvillevidette.com.

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