After break, Tigers open league play
By Scott Loftis
Three games into the 2020 football season, Green Forest coach Greg Tibbitt said the Tigers haven’t had a practice or a game with their full football team.
COVID-19 issues forced the Tigers to miss two full weeks of preseason practice, and each of their first three games have seen players sidelined because of concerns over the virus.
As soon as one group of players is cleared to return to action, another group has to be held out, Tibbitt said.
“It’s just kind of been a revolving door,” he said. “Hopefully some of that will slow down a little bit.”
After starting the season 0-3, Green Forest had an open date last Friday before opening conference play this week at Prairie Grove. Tibbitt said the break was well-timed.
“I think it’s a good time to have it,” the first-year Green Forest coach said. “I kind of like it going right before conference. It kind of gives us a little break right before the long road starts.”
The Tigers got back to basics in practice last week.
“You usually use this week to get healthy,” Tibbitt said. “We really haven’t been banged up. We’ve been dealing more with COVID quarantines than we have with actual injuries, so it was a chance for us to get back to some fundamental-type stuff that we missed out on on those days that we were locked down during fall camp.”
Prairie Grove has won its first three games this season under longtime head coach Danny Abshier, who picked up his 200th career victory a couple of weeks ago.
“He’s been there a long time and they’re a traditional powerhouse in our conference,” Tibbitt said. “They’re a good football team and well-coached.”
Despite the setbacks on and off the field, Tibbitt said he has been pleased with the way his team has responded.
“We’re proud of where we are right now,” he said. “Our kids have worked hard. Adversity is part of football but the COVID adds a whole new element to it. Our kids have done a good job of battling through that and just kind of taking it on the chin and accepting the challenge and moving forward. We’re proud of where we are. We just need to win along the way.”