The Clarksville Academy Cougars are in a different position than any other school in the city.
While the CMCSS programs are barred from any kind of communication between coaches and players, the Cougars staff is allowed to speak directly with their guys and provide guidance.
After going 3-7 in head coach John Crosby’s first season at the helm, they could use it.
“The more experience you have the better in times like this,” Crosby said. “Having that one year under my belt is definitely big, knowing all the kids and just knowing what we can and can’t do and trying to stay on top of things. It would be a lot if I had never coached a game as a head coach for sure.”
The Cougars would be in the middle of their spring practice schedule right now with an upcoming scrimmage against Hunters Lane. Instead, they’re left communicating via text, email and Zoom meetings. Still, they’re able to send workouts and talk to players – more than many teams in the state can say.
“We’re trying to stay aggressive with it and stay on the forefront,” Crosby said.
“As soon as we’re able to and as soon as our administration says we’re able to bring kids in small groups at a time, we’re going to start doing that. We’re working closely with our athletic director and other coaches to stay on top of doing what colleges are talking about doing and what other high schools are talking about doing... Whether that’s small groups throughout the day and then teaching playbooks, that kind of thing while they’re spread out, we will.”
As of now, the staff is unsure how their future looks regarding cutting programs or when they may get back onto the field. They remain cautiously optimistic that they’ll be able to get a full summer of training, but are prepared to cut programs if the need arises.
The Cougars face a unique challenge – one that very few in the country will see in week one: they’re facing an entirely new program. They’re scheduled to travel to face Green Hill, a new school in Mt. Juliet, on Aug. 21.
Of course, that date could change, but they’re left with no film or expectation for their first opponent. That said, Green Hill is subject to TSSAA’s rules prohibiting contact between coaches and players.
“The fact that we have nothing to go off of as far as last season’s film, yes, there is a little bit of an unknown,” Crosby said. “At the same time, they probably don’t know a lot about us. We’ve got film from last year that they might be able to get their hands on so that might be an advantage for them, but they’ve not been able to do anything with their team yet so we’re kind of all on an even playing field right now.”