Practice begins for fall high school sports in Missouri

The Webb City Cardinals and Carthage Tigers hit the field Monday for their first practices of the year.
Webb City football mask

WEBB CITY, Mo. – The Webb City Cardinals and Carthage Tigers hit the football field for their first practices of the year on Monday. 

“We’ve probably taken for granted how smooth and how easy this has been in the past compared to this year,” says Webb City head coach John Roderique. 

While both teams are excited to be back to practice, it looks a little different than years past due to COVID-19.

Players have face coverings, everyone has their own water bottles and players spread out as much as possible.

While it is different, both teams say when the whistle blows, football is still football.

“Once we get out here and get going on the field with football, it feels normal, but everything else doesn’t,” says Jon Guidie, Carthage head coach, “We have to go through so many different guidelines to get to the point, but once we’re here, the focus is on football.” 

“It definitely feels different,” adds Webb City running back Devrin Weathers, “especially walking in today and getting this mask. I was like yeah, this is going to be a little bit different this year.” 

“You can sanitize and clean all the equipment and all the footballs and all of that stuff,” Roderique says, “But once you line up, you gotta be ready to play football just like normal.”

These two teams have targets on their backs after winning state championships last December.

They know if they want to stay on top Monday is just the start of a season of hard work.

“We’ve never had that feeling before, coming off that state title,” Guidie adds, “We’ll see how it goes.” 

“Every team wants to beat Webb City,” Weathers finishes, “So we always gotta play with a chip on our shoulder.” 

“Hopefully they understand what it took to get there last year,” Guidie finishes, “We had to overcome a lot of different things, a lot of adversity. That was a whole different football team. That’s what I tried to tell the kids. This team here hasn’t done anything yet.”