This year, his family was allowed to only go up to buildings and dorms, not inside. They couldn't see how IMG's plans would work in person, so it was up to the coaches to detail that process. The offensive linemen stayed in a pod with other offensive linemen, quarterbacks with quarterbacks, and so on. IMG Academy, the USA Today Network's No. William even kept Tyler in their hotel room before drop off and went to the grocery store by himself just to make sure Tyler wasn't exposed to anyone before he arrived in July, as well. Each student-athlete who came on campus in July went through a screening process for COVID-19 symptoms, and they are screened every night. 1 high school football team in the country, plays Ravenwood on ESPNU. While it can't create a true bubble since some staff members live off campus and go home each night, it's as close to a bubble as they can make it to ensure there was no outside exposure to the athletes. This thing could halt us at any time of the year, so take this first game, embrace it and let's really sell out because you don't know if you're going to get next week," Acosta said. The players know there is still a tough road ahead to get through the season without any issues. To help his players follow those protocols and make sure everyone was taking them seriously, Acosta stayed in the dorms himself to show his players how serious it was. Is everything safe?'" The team is separated by two floors in the dorms, and players aren't allowed to go to the opposite floor their pod lives on. The past two years, he and his family were allowed to go into the dorms to drop him off and help him settle in. When their helmets come off in practice, they pull up their masks or neck gaiters to make sure their face is covered. Reply. © 2005-2020 CBS INTERACTIVE ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Hank South. IMG opens its season tonight on ESPNU, 7 CT. We have a commitment from 2021 3* DT Anthony Hundley. Hundley made a nice tackle on a screen play to open their first possession on Defense. "I was on the phone maybe two days before the kids were arriving with parents saying, 'Are you sure, Coach? The team and coaches adjusted to having to communicate virtually throughout the spring and into the summer, but the real test came when the athletes had to come back to campus. And as a program, IMG has returned no positive cases and had just two injuries and a few reports of a stomach bug unrelated to COVID-19. IMG Academy, which rosters seven ESPN 300 prospects, kicks off its 2020 football season when it faces Venice (Florida) High School on Friday at 8 p.m. There were some doubts about whether or not they would get to play this season, mostly coming from decisions out of their control from the state. All rights reserved. When they eat, they go with their pod. ET on ESPNU. "It started as four weeks and then went to eight weeks. To make it to football season, the school completely overhauled its safety protocols to keep 140 football players from every corner of the country safe once they were on campus. But he never could have imagined what would lie ahead once the coronavirus pandemic hit. Parents are now allowed to check their children off campus, but still have to remain outside the buildings if they pick them up. After the initial screening, the players checked into the dorms and were assigned a roommate, two athletes to a room. Then there were questions about how they would work through their schedule. It was a lot more than they were used to and they didn't have their parents to rely on. If they wanted a season to happen, they needed to follow the steps to make it happen. ", Inside IMG Academy's road to playing a 2020 high school football season, Alabama remains the SEC king, Trevor Lawrence remains unstoppable and more from Week 7, Rebuilding FSU savors 'special' win vs. No. Now the players are socially distancing by themselves without a coach's reminder. (If someone displays symptoms, they are brought to Johns Hopkins health services and tested.) The coaches went through the protocols and simulated how a return could work so the academy could make adjustments before the players were set to come back in July. The administration and coaching staff came up with a four-week virtual learning program that included a virtual classroom and virtual practice field. "I took the job, we started off really embracing our new vision, our new philosophy," Acosta said. I believe we're also in play for a few in their 2022 class. CBS Sports is a registered trademark of CBS Broadcasting Inc. 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"We're trying our best because we're all 15- to 18-year-old kids, so it's hard not to connect with one another closely, but we're trying to do the best we can.". 5 UNC, Gators coach Mullen tests positive for COVID-19, Saban coaches Tide to win after expedited test, NC State QB Leary carted off with leg in air cast, Tigers' Lawrence has huge day, misses INT mark, Vols 'undecided' at QB after Guarantano benched, "Our confidence went through the roof": Nick Saban returns and Bama rolls, College football Power Rankings for Week 7, College Football Playoff picks after Week 7, Yes, friends, even game officials can land on our Bottom 10 list, 'That energy is still here': How D.J. A week before IMG Academy's first game of the season, Bobby Acosta slowly walked around the football field, thinking about how far he and his team had come the past few months. A couple months ago, we had people tell us there's no way you're going to have over 100 kids on a team and make it to a season, and we did it. "I said, 'Moms and dads, I would bring my own kids here because it's safe,' and a week later my kids did come down. This Girl Got Busted Watching The Saints Game In Church, Kirk Herbstreit Thinks This Is What’s Wrong With Alabama’s Defense, Paul Finebaum Didn't Hold Back When Talking About Steve Sarkisian Coaching For Saban, The LSU-Florida Game Has Officially Been Postponed, Florida Football Has Paused Team Activities Due To COVID-19, Kickoff Time, TV Network Announced For Week 4 In The SEC, Updated College Football Rankings - Week 6 (Oct. 4, 2020), Kickoff Time, TV Network Announced For Week 3 In The SEC, UFC Star Valerie Loureda's Advice: 'eat your salad, no dessert, get that man you deserve', Lolo Jones Rocking Her Tiger Print Bikini At The Pool, Saints QB Drew Brees Buys Condo In This New Orleans High-Rise. "When I dropped him off, I dropped him off at the curb and they had carts for them because they didn't want parents going into the building," William said. I said if I can bring my own kids here, it's safe.". In the past, players could pick their roommate. They have away games in Texas, Tennessee and Friday's season opener at Venice High School in Venice, Florida, a little less than an hour drive from IMG's campus. The players all bought in. Who Is The Best Defensive Coordinator Urban Meyer Has Ever Coached Against? Kickoff Time Change: LSU vs. South Carolina, Highlights: Arch Manning Made His National TV Debut Thursday Night, College Basketball Insider Jon Rothstein: 5 Dark Horse Candidates For The 2021 Final Four, Video: "We've Got The Talent To Attack In Every Aspect" Terrace Marshall On LSU's Offense, Watch: LSU Releases Highlights Of All The Tigers Dominating In The NFL - Week 5, Here’s How Much Deion Sanders Will Make Coaching Jackson State. Become an Annual VIP member today and get access to VIP content, ad-free forums & more. IMG is the home to multiple sports teams, not just football, so it needed to figure out a way to bring everyone back safely and ensure that safety once they returned to campus. The Bradenton, Florida, boarding school brings in some of the top football recruits from across the country to form its national team, traveling nationwide in a highly competitive schedule. IMG is affiliated with Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital, and the school has a health services building on campus with full access to Johns Hopkins nurses. The same went for Crippen's roommate, fellow offensive lineman Tyler Booker. Alone with his thoughts, Acosta, IMG's new head football coach, was moved to tears as he prodded across the turf, thinking how far his team had come to be able to take the field on Friday and actually play football. IMG Academy (3-0) led 17-7 at halftime after the Ascenders stopped Ravenwood (3-3) on a fourth-and-goal at the Ravenwood 2 and Justin Smitherman was stopped for … "The kids performed it at their house, in their backyard. They brought his belongings to the door, said goodbye and hoped for safety. I think it ended up being 12 weeks until we were ready for the kids to come back.". "When we wake up tomorrow, we're blessed to have that day and we're going to win that day. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to get the latest updates on LSU Football and Recruiting. It has almost become a part of their uniform now as they have formed the habit of keeping their masks nearby. "Our day is starting to get a little bit more normal because the whole team is on campus, so there's not many scares with people having the virus now," Booker said. The team will drive in three buses to Venice and will try to do the same to Tennessee, when the team plays Ravenwood in Brentwood. Copyright @2020 TigerDroppings.com. Staff. Many parents from across the country wondered if it was still a good decision to send their sons away to the hot-spot state of Florida.
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