Webb Football kicks off 2020 Season Online


Webb football looks forward to getting back on the field.

Football, an extremely physical sport, is making a tough transition along with other Webb athletics and in-person activities to online formats due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.  

Under normal conditions, the football season starts as early as August for preseason training. However, in order to follow social-distancing guidelines, Webb football cancelled all in-person meetings and practices during the summer and the start of the school year until recently, as limited in-person practices started on campus 

On July 21st, 2020, CIF (California Interscholastic Federation) postponed the upcoming football season until December; Schools are not allowed to host practices until December 14th, 2020. 

Webb football officially kicked off the 2020-2021 season on October 27th with its first official all-team meeting since the students’ departure from campus in March. This was led by head coach Amahl Thomas, special teams’ coach, Will Allan (‘94) and, offensive line coach, John Oddell. Coach Thomas started off the meeting by welcoming everyone and explaining the team’s response to the current situation by sharing the agenda for weekly meetings. Players then divided into their respective units and started to get familiar with the playbook.  

Besides weekly team meetings regarding the game plans, coaches also assigned players at-home workout assignments. Each week, players are required to submit their workout videos onto the team Canvas page for a progress check.  

“We’ve been going over the basic X’s and O’s to refresh the memories of the returning players and then of course introducing our offense and defense to the new guys,” Coach Thomas said. 

Coach Thomas hopes that the players will use these meetings to retain the critical information needed before getting onto the field. 

We’re kind of going slow but we’re still throwing a lot at the players,Coach Thomas said. “Our hope is that some of it will stick and then once we actually get on field and get together the dots will start getting connected. 

Coach Thomas is aware that starting the football season off with online meetings is not an ideal situation, and that the team cannot get as much out of the meetings compared to being out on the field.  

“The most challenging thing is obviously that we’re not meeting up,” Coach Thomas said. I think you learn more when it’s tangible and when you can get out there and actually perform the plays.” 

The football team will continue to have meetings three times a week until the end of the month, when they will go into the next phase of preparation. 

“Early December is when we will have our first practice,” said Coach Thomas. It will be distanced practicing, but we’ll still be able to go over plays i.e. running routes and getting drops. It’ll be good as coaches because we can definitely see the new guys and how they move.” 

The transition is not only tough for the coaches who have to remake their schedule and plans for a historic virtual season, the players are also working to adjust to the new norm.   

I think the new football season and having the preseason over Zoom is definitely a challenge and is not the ideal circumstances for any player,” said senior quarterback Ethan Caldecott (‘21).However, I feel the biggest impact is that the new players won’t get the chance to learn the playbook through on-the-field reps.  

Having these meetings online, however, will be a great opportunity for the team to reconnect and meet some of the new players 

“I definitely do like the option Zoom gives us to get together as a team and build chemistry with each other,” Ethan said. 

Webb’s medical board has cleared Webb’s sports teams for inperson practices, meaning the football team will have its first official practice on December 1st. Players and Coaches will have to follow strict protocols in order to keep everyone safe.