Many coaches are dealing with the fact that their seasons are either gone or starting later in an abridged format. For Fairfax County, the VHSL opted to hold sports seasons later in the year depending on COVID-19’s progression. Varsity football coaches like Oakton High School’s Mel Morgan are getting ready for the season in an unprecedented way. “The season is far off, so the Green days we’re having is like April,” Morgan explained.

Despite the frustration that the players are feeling, there is a fire inside that Morgan is noticing, something that could prove useful. “These kids are hungry, and they feel like a big part of them is missing,” Morgan said. He also cited that this could add extra motivation for the Cougars going forward.

Morgan is no stranger to coaching, but this is his second year as the head coach which he said, “levels out with the other coaches because we’re in uncharted territory. No one has a blueprint for this,” he added. The blueprint for Oakton’s success this upcoming season will simply be “playing to our strengths and taking advantage of the other team’s weaknesses.”

Oakton struggled mightily last year with a 2-8 record, but Morgan is confident that there will be an improvement. “We got a new good quarterback and our receiving corps looks good too.” According to Morgan, the defense’s talent “wasn’t reflected on the scoreboards.” The return of veteran players could flip the script for 2021.

While the players have been missing their game, they’ve been handling the situation well. There has been no drama for the team. “These kids are eager to play,” Morgan said. There will only be six games this season, so this desire to play hard will be key in taking advantage of the extra time in the offseason–especially when games come back into play.

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