In a time of social distancing, high school coaches are looking for any way to stay connected with their players.
For Saguaro football coach Jason Mohns, he wanted to add a personal touch when letting his players know the coaching staff was thinking of them.
That idea turned into an excursion that resulted in 76 stops between five coaches spanning the Valley. Last week, the staff dropped off Saguaro shirts that had one word on it: Family.
Mohns and his family drove 124 miles on 19 stops. Tight ends coach Nyles Outley also notched over 100 miles to see players. Other coaches stuck closer to Saguaro and dropped off 30 shirts on their route.
— Jason Goodwin (@coach_goodwin1) April 18, 2020
The plan didn’t come together out of nowhere. It involved getting the shirts ordered through Adidas, confirming their screen printer was still working and gathering addresses from the players.
“I was just thinking of doing something special, just let them know we were thinking (of them),” Mohns said.
“We’ve got kids all over. Going through it, we’ve got kids in Scottsdale, we have kids in Phoenix, we have kids in Paradise Valley. We have kids in Tempe, Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, Surprise, Glendale. They’re all over the place.”
Once the players responded, Mohns coordinated routes for the coaches that could volunteer to deliver the shirts. This is a tall task when school is in session, and there were even more challenges to this process while so many are working from home.
In a time of social distancing, there is an obvious focus on limiting up-close interaction with others.
Mohns provided pre-packaged shirts, masks and gloves for each coach and gave instructions to not stay longer than 30 seconds with each player. He feels the coaches were able to see their players very briefly without putting the players in harm’s way.
“I think it was no different than Amazon Prime dropping something off at the door,” Mohns said.
“We tried to be cautious about it and respect the guidelines the CDC and the governor has put out there. We looked through that and felt like we were in compliance with everything they had recommended.”
Now, the Sabercats are looking to future success, whenever they’re able to take the field again.
“We can catch up on the football,” Mohns said. “We’ll get working on the Zoom meetings and all that stuff. I think we’ll be able to catch up. The time apart, the time spent away is going to be the one that will have the long-term effect when we reflect back on this when it’s over.”