• 73°

After shortened spring, Trojans eager to get back on the field

With the state of Alabama slowly opening back up, the Troy football team is waiting for their shot to get back on the field.

The Trojans were supposed to play in the annual T-Day scrimmage on April 4, marking the end of spring practice. The Trojans were scheduled to have a total of 15 practice this spring, but due to the coronavirus, they were held to just five.

Although they haven’t been on the field since early March, The Trojans have been busy trying to stay as normal as possible.

“It’s been a crazy six weeks, maybe even seven now,” head coach Chip Lindsey said. “We have been really busy without players. We have had normal staff and position meetings. Our meetings may have been as good or better than they were before. It feels like on Zoom you have their attention. We can share the screen and put drawings up.”

The Trojans have remained healthy during the pandemic, something that coach Lindsey and his staff is very happy about.

During their meetings, Lindsey and the staff is encouraging their players to remain in shape and ready for the day when the all clear is given and the Trojans are able to meet in person and get to work.

“Trying to encourage those guys to focus on their academics and get in a workout when they can,” Lindsey said. “I think the message to our team is you better be prepared because we don’t know when we will be coming back and it may be sooner rather than later.”

Lindsey and the rest of the Troy coaches have a meeting once a week with Athletic Director Brent Jones to hear the latest news and information regarding when the school will be reopened and athletics can resume.

“He (Jones) is a guy I talk to everyday,” Lindsey said. “He is in direct communication with the NCAA and the chancellor to get information. I don’t think anybody knows for sure yet. I think there is a lot of wait and see. As a football coach, you have to encourage your guys to be ready and be ready all the time.”

Until the day they get back together, Lindsey is able to look back at what was a successful, albeit short, spring practice.

“Coming out of the spring, we got five practices in,” Lindsey said. “I’m really excited about this team. I think we made some big strides on the defensive side from recruiting. I think that showed in the spring. Offensively we didn’t lose any skill guys.  (Quarterbacks) Gunnar Watson, Jacob Free and Parker McNeal, I thought, separated themselves after five practices. All three of them are working their tails off to get better.”

During the five days of practice, Lindsey enjoyed watching new leaders emerge.

“We have a new group of leaders now and I like their approach,” Lindsey said. “It’s fun to go practice with these guys. I think they’re hungry. 5-7 is not who we want to be. It’s not who we have been or who we are. There was a lot of motivation this spring.”

Lindsey is hoping to have the opportunity to have as close of a normal summer practice schedule as possible.

“The Sun Belt coaches got together and talked about how many weeks it would take to get our team ready to play,” Lindsey said. “I think that fell anywhere between six and 12 weeks. Those were just ideas that we threw out there. I think it all depends on when the country opens up.”

The Trojans are scheduled to open the season on Saturday, September 5 when they host Arkansas-Pine Bluff.