Jenkins Happy with Schedule, Optimistic for Season

Oskaloosa Head Football Coach Jake Jenkins (file photo_

by Justin Burtis

Oskaloosa — Head Coach Jake Jenkins knows that every day brings more news and shifts in policies and procedures. But for now, the Oskaloosa Indians are scheduled to play a full set of games under the current Iowa High School Athletic Association plan.
Making a schedule was undoubtedly a challenge this year as the state has changed up the first four weeks of the season.

“All the district games are going to be the same, and they’re going to be in chronological order how they appeared on the initial schedule,” said Jenkins. “The first four weeks, they basically said it’s a toss-up. Out of those four weeks that you have, basically, pick two opponents, and it can be those non-district opponents that you already had scheduled, or it can be anybody in the state.”

While that leaves some flexibility for worse case scenarios, Jenkins was on the phone more than usual because of how everyone changed their schedules in response to this new format.

“That kind of created some chaos with coaches, you know, dropping teams and people scrambling to find opponents. So, its been an interesting two-three days that we had making a lot of phone calls, and we found a couple teams to play us.”

The Indians will start the year playing against the Wolverines of Dike-New Hartford. That will lead to a week two clash with the Bulldogs of Ottumwa, as the Indians will play their first two games at the Statesmen Community Stadium. The other big news is that Coach Jenkins was able to line up the Tigers of ADM for a scrimmage, as both teams needed finding someone to play against.

“Something really good came out of it as in the fact that we’re going to play ADM and then the following year, they will come here for that scrimmage. So, we kind of did a verbal two-year deal with them, which is great. They’re a 3A program, and they’re not in the same district as us.”

The coach also liked getting the scrimmage in since having a little less time to prepare means the team will be able to see what they have on each side of the ball in action.

“If you take our ones on offense, for example, and go against the defense, a lot of the ones on offense could play on defense as well, but we just took them from the defense. We have backups on defense, and it is really just not the same. So, if you can really take your ones and go against somebody else’s ones, it really shows you where you’re at.”

Coach Jenkins also provided some news on football camps for the Indians. As Oskaloosa had to cancel the youth camp for this year, the high school camp will commence next week.

“I feel bad because it is fun. We like getting our older guys the varsity guys and JV guys to go help out with the younger kids. The younger kids look up to them, you know. Last year, they got to run around with Aaron Blom, who’s now at Iowa, and you know, they look up to those kids so much. So that’s kind of something I look forward to every year.”

Coach Jenkins also acknowledged the ongoing conditions with COVID 19 and how that is impacting sport at all levels.

“Whenever we have our parent meetings and things like that, I say the number one thing is the safety of your child. Whether, you know, they have an injury or an illness or sickness or whatever, I’d rather err on the side of caution. So, we are going to do whatever we can to keep kids safe. That is going to be in school, and it’s going to be on the field of play.”

A lot will happen between now and the start of the season, but the passion for Indians football has not diminished over the summer. In fact, the case could be made that this season will hold a little more importance than before.

“There’s a lot of fire in the kids, and you can see it when we’re back. They’re attentively listening, and they’re working really hard. It’s almost eerily quiet when the coaches talk. They are so excited to be there that they want to hear everything and absorb everything because they really want this thing to get going.”

“it’s great but also kind of sad in the same token because it’s like they’ve missed out on so much of this that they’re taking the little things, you know, they are not taking them for granted anymore.”

“If we only get to play one game this year, we better be ready for the one game and enjoy every minute of it because you never know when it’s going to be your last.”

Posted by on Jul 29 2020. Filed under Local News, School Activities. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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