The 2021 AHSAA football campaign has begun as the majority of teams have begun spring football drills. Some schools began at the end of April, while others have waited until the state track meets were complete and a couple of rounds of baseball playoffs had taken place to allow them to have as many athletes as possible available for drills. AHSAA teams can conduct ten days of practice anytime the second semester. There are still a few teams that schedule their spring drills before spring sports.
Spring drills are a great time to teach the fundamentals without worrying about preparing for games, as well as evaluating young and new players that are becoming part of the team. It allows coaches to decide what areas they are weak, and look at options of moving some positions to help strengthen their squad. With only ten days allowed, schools must work quickly and do a quality job of organizing practices.
There are a few schools that do little or no spring practices. Some smaller schools have so many athletes involved historically with spring sports that they choose to wait until summer to begin any time of drills. This spring, some teams that have just hired head coaches recently or still don't have a head coach have decided to eliminate spring drills due to a lack of coaching help as this time.
Some schools will finish by playing another team in a full spring game. It may be a good way to try and regain some of the lost revenue from the 2020 pandemic season. Others participate still in the old spring football jamboree, where several schools come together and play a half or quarter against more than one school. Others teams simply close out spring drills with the old intrasquad game, which allows everyone the opportunity to get plenty of playing time. Regardless, coaches will video that game action and pour over it as they make plans for the summer and fall workouts and the 2021 season.
As those games are played, coaching staffs across the state will look to scout those first opponents next fall and assess their chances of victory. After the elimination of spring drills last year due to the Covid pandemic, everyone is excited about getting back to the routine of spring football.