Bobcat football workouts resume with OTAs, weight training

Adam Goodvin

The uncertain future of football will not prevent fourth-year head coach Adam Goodvin from preparing as though his Marshalltown High School squad will take to the gridiron in the fall.

Through clearance from Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds and guidance from the Iowa Department of Public Health and the Iowa Department of Education, the Iowa High School Athletic Association and Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union cleared the way for in-person, out-of-season sports to resume activities on Wednesday. Marshalltown High School gave itself another couple of days to better prepare for the return of its coaches and student-athletes, which on Friday will include Goodvin’s first organized team activity (OTA) with his football players.

“We’ve got eight OTAs throughout the summer, the first one is this Friday, and I know it’s not ideal with kids on vacation for the Fourth of July, but we’ll work with what we’ve got,” Goodvin said. “I set this schedule in early June and the biggest thing was to stay away from the baseball games. We want our kids to go and support the baseball team, and some of our football guys are playing baseball too.

“We’ve been out of it for so long, I think the kids are eager to get back into some sort of a normal routine.”

The eight scheduled OTAs for the Marshalltown High School football team can be found on Goodvin’s Twitter page (www.twitter.com/agoodvin_14), and the notice also includes equipment checkout dates as well as the schedule for fall football camp.

The MHS weight room will open on Monday with coronavirus-related restrictions, including the limit of 10 student-athletes per session. Marshalltown strength and conditioning coach Allen Mann has posted to his Twitter page (www.twitter.com/MarshalltownSc) the schedule for weight training, the necessary protocols that must be followed, as well as the COVID-19 consent agreement that is required for participation.

With so many unknowns as far as the resumption of school in the fall and the hope for normalcy in athletics, Goodvin is content at this point to do what he can to be ready for exactly that.

“I’ve had numerous conversations with other coaches and the big thing is there’s no road map to playing sports through a pandemic,” he said. “It would just be nice to have some consistency. There’s so much that goes into planning for a season and we can only control what we can control, so we’re preparing like we’re going to have a season in the fall.”

Goodvin said that strength and conditioning in the offseason is obviously an important step in the process of preparation for the football campaign, but so are OTAs. The Bobcats will need time to learn their offensive schemes, and that requires time and repetitions. It’s so much more complex than just lining up and blocking the guy across from you, Goodvin chuckled.

“Last summer we had great attendance at OTAs, and I think that showed on the field on Friday nights in the fall,” he said. “The main thing with OTA s is that our kids can learn our schemes and get ahead of the game. We’ve got to get good at what we do and we’ve got to do it at 100 percent.”

Last year’s Bobcat squad finished 5-4 — the program’s best record since its last state tournament appearance in 2012 — and Goodvin is hoping to keep that momentum going in the fall of 2020. He sees the wide-angle view of things, however, and has kept level-headed through the pandemic.

“I think the first thing to keep in mind that’s constantly going through my head is how easy it can be to just lose sight of everything,” Goodvin said. “They’re young, they’re healthy, but you’ve got to keep it in the back of our heads that there’s a bigger picture. They all interact with relatives, with their community, and we’ve got to take this one step at a time.”

That starts with proper preparation and execution of that plan this summer, both in terms of football but mostly in consideration of the coronavirus pandemic.

“We open up the weight room Monday and we’re working through the logistics of that now,” he said.

In addition to limiting workout groups to 10 student-athletes per session, athletes will have their temperatures taken upon arrival and they will be required to social distance as much as possible. Masks must be worn when social distancing can’t be maintained, and student-athletes will not be allowed to congregate in the parking lot before or after their assigned sessions.

Students and coaches will sanitize shared equipment after each session and the school’s maintenance staff will also sanitize the facility daily.

“It’s going to be tough, but we’ll see how many kids sign up and we’re counting on it being an all-day type of thing,” Goodvin said. “We want to make sure we’re doing things right.

“I wish I had all the answers but I’d rather be safe than sorry. It might be uncomfortable and you might not agree with it, but this is what it’s going to take. Nobody has the answers so all you can do is the best you can do.”


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