HAVRE — As the coronavirus continues to tighten its grip on daily life, people across the country are forced to adapt what they do for their jobs. Coaches of college football programs are no different. Instead of going through spring drills like normal, the staff at MSU-Northern is working remotely to keep the team in good spirits and engaged in the program.
There’s a new football stadium going up at MSU-Northern, but the campus is an otherwise quiet place as the coronavirus pandemic has forced most educators into remote, online learning. For Lights football head coach Andrew Rolin, one challenge is keeping his team engaged in the program from afar. Luckily, handling adversity is something Rolin has been instilling in his guys since he got there. So far, the team is handling it well.
"They're resilient. They're kids, but they're also resilient and they want to win and they want to be successful, and we're doing everything we can do as a system and doing that just remotely," Rolin said. "Our kids have, over the past few years, we've built a culture of being able to respond to situations like this and adverse times, and that's where we are as a program."
"We're able to meet with them and see them in person via FaceTime or putting film on Hudl with meetings," Rolin continued. "There's a lot of different ways to communicate with our guys, still talk football and get back to normal life, just not together in a meeting setting."
While staying engaged with the team is important, Rolin says his staff is working just as hard to make sure the players finish the school year, too.
"We're having a big focus on academics and how we're going to go forth, helping them be successful academically, remotely," Rolin said. "And I think that's interesting. We're kind of feeling it out. As everybody knows this as an hour-by-hour situation and we're trying to do the best we can and, just as I always say, hang loose and adjust."
But with all this working from home, family life is an adjustment, as well.
"I spend a lot of time with my kids, which is pretty fun. I've watched Frozen 2 about eight times this week. So, you know, it's times are fine, we're fine. We're going to move on, we're going to, you know, get through this as, as a community," Rolin said.
And when normalcy finally returns, things are going to look a lot different for Lights football.