Wilmington College head coach Bryan Moore is preparing his team for Ohio Northern this week.
And even though the Quakers have won just one of the last 21 meetings, getting ready for the Polar Bears is the easy part.
“We are still holding our breathe that we can get this game in on Saturday,” said Moore. “We still have one more round of Covid testing on Friday that could effect our ability to play. We test Monday, Wednesday, Friday each week, and those days are the most stressful for my staff and players.
“The fear of having another game canceled is kind of in the back of your head all week. It is a distraction for sure and it seems to be the topic everyone wants to focus on. But the only real option we have is to prepare and work as we normally would. Unfortunately that doesn’t guarantee us much of anything.”
Kickoff Saturday, amid homecoming festivities throughout the weekend, is set for 3 p.m. at Townsend Field.
“We will be without key players and coaches,” Moore admits. “We can’t control that. We can control our preparation, our engagement, our energy, and our execution. That has been the focus this week. Control the controllable.”
Wilmington did not play last week because the game with Heidelberg was cancelled. Ohio Northern lost on a last-second field goal to Muskingum. To Moore, it’s an easy call as to which scenario was worse.
“We found out at about 3 (p.m.) last Friday that we were going to have to cancel the game, then had to host a Zoom meeting with the players to break the news to them,” he said. “It is tough to put in a full week’s worth of work and preparation then have to cancel the game less than 24 hours from kickoff. Things got out of our control real quick. Emotionally, I don’t know if I have every experienced that feeling before and I imagine our players were the same way.”
Moore said some players were able to get healthy without a game last week. Others won’t be available because of Covid or they haven’t practiced because of quarantine.
“So it is kind of a push,” he said.
Moore believes the situation, though stressful, is part of life and can enlighten a path to future success. At the moment, though, it’s a bitter pill to swallow.
“We didn’t have our offensive coordinator in week 1 due to Covid and we won’t have our defensive coordinator this weekend,” he said. “Physically we are fairly healthy, but the challenge is whether or not we are going to be emotionally and mentally healthy.
“That is football and that is a life lesson we are all learning right now. Working hard, sacrificing, straining for something you want, doesn’t always guarantee the results you want. It isn’t always fair and you don’t always get out what you put in. However, the alternative is pretty obvious if you choose not to do those things. Then the results are disastrous and can linger for a while.”