Coach Peebles outlines football season options

Irish plan — and hope — to get back to business on July 1


Cathedran file photo

The varsity football team kicked off the 2019 season on Aug. 23 at Noblesville.

Luke Hern, Reporter

Fighting Irish football, the winningest high school program in Indiana, is a school tradition, as fans gather every fall Friday night to watch the boys in gold, green and blue compete.

But with the coronavirus pandemic seemingly halting everything worldwide, fans are left to question whether or not they will be able to enjoy another season this coming fall.

Head Coach Mr. Bill Peebles ‘88 gave insight as to what the possibilities are with the season, and what the different outcomes could be involved.

As of now, all preseason training activities have been put on hold until July 1, a month after teams would typically start up for summer training. While the campus is typically active well into June with teams lifting and training and students taking summer classes, as of now, the hustle and bustle on the Hill will have to wait until July.

We’re preparing as if our July 1 is a normal June 1.”

— Head Coach Mr. Bill Peebles '88

“We’re preparing as if our July 1 is a normal June 1,” Peebles said in an interview, “and we are actually currently having meetings right now. We have (had) team meetings on Mondays during the flex period, and we’ve been doing that since spring break to stay on the same page.”

Right now, the hope is that the football preseason is merely shortened, and that a full season is still in the picture. “I recently had a meeting with the Indiana Football Coaches Association, and if everything goes well in July, it shouldn’t have any impact on the season length,” Peebles said, adding, “We’re hoping for the best, preparing for the worst, and whenever they tell us we can go, we’re going to go, and we obviously want to do it safely.”

Peebles said that while a July start is the best case scenario, a shortened preseason still limits time for preparation. “What we do in the running and passing game, it takes a lot of time to get reps, work mesh points and get the timing right,” Peebles said, also commenting that “if we can’t start until August, it will impact what we can do play-wise, at least at the beginning of the season.”

Other scenarios include a shortened four-game regular season, “a warmup set of weeks for the tourney,” as Peebles described it. Then, the teams would go straight into the tournament as usual, where the Irish have a decades-long tradition of success.

“The worst case scenario is that we don’t get to play football at all,” Peebles said. “Hopefully things improve, and while we know there won’t be a vaccine available for a while, hopefully there are some better, more viable treatments for this virus in the next month or two, that people would be able to feel and be safe.”

Regardless of what may happen, Irish fans and players alike are itching to have football return. “Our guys have been ready to get back together, many have been working out on their own without our direction as coaches, they’re just motivated to come back from this better and sooner, so I’m really proud of our guys,” Peebles said.