J.Z. George head football coach Ben Burton is handling the extra time off about the same way most coaches are during the coronavirus outbreak.
He's spending a lot of time with his kids at home and getting a few things done on his honey-do list, but also trying to keep up with his football players, who would normally be preparing for an upcoming spring football season and game.
"I've been trying to reach as many of the players as I can and give them things to do to stay active. Most of our kids are pretty active, whether they are playing basketball or working on their skills," said Burton. "I talked to our quarterback (Jordun Normal) over the weekend about getting some footballs and spend time throwing the ball. He needs to take this time and work on his arm strength. Throw the ball anywhere up to 20 yards to start with, and then work his way up to throwing the ball deep.
"Those guys who are willing and have a desire to get better will take advantage of this extra time and put in some work. I hope a lot of them are doing things to stay in shape."
Of course, Burton emphasizes safety first.
"The one thing I've noticed the kids don't understand is the severity of what's going on. The parents, because of maturity, have a better understanding of how serious this virus is. We all need to take precautions," Burton said.
Burton, who is completing his sixth year at J.Z. George, misses being around the kids.
"I enjoy going to work, but I don't want to risk anyone getting sick and losing their life over this disease," said Burton. "I've been able to find some things to do to stay busy. My kids have enjoyed our fishing outings."
The Jaguars are slated to play the same schedule from 2019 in the 2020 season. They open with McAdams, then take on Hamilton, West Bolivar, Winona, Central Holmes, Leake County and Walnut. J.Z. George closes with four straight Region 2-2A games against East Webster, Eupora, Bruce and Calhoun City.