Coolidge High School football

Coolidge High School’s Greg Reece tries to dodge Vista Grande defenders during a 7-on-7 football drill in June 2019.

COOLIDGE — The Coolidge Bears are back at it on the football field, though in a different way than they’re used to.

Practice resumed Monday morning, with the team separated into different groups to keep them 10 kids or lower. This schedule format will remain until at least June 25 and will take place on the practice field next to the tennis courts. Head coach Rodger Schenks said he had so many freshmen show interest that those players will even be split by last names.

Offensive and defensive linemen will practice Mondays and Wednesdays. Freshmen with last names A-M will need to check in at 7:15 a.m., freshmen N-Z and sophomores will check in at 7:45 a.m., and juniors and seniors will check in at 8:45 a.m.

Quarterbacks, wide receivers and running backs — who are also expected to play linebacker and defensive back — will practice Tuesdays and Thursdays. Freshmen will check in at 7 a.m., sophomores and juniors at 7:45 a.m., and seniors at 8:15 a.m.

Coolidge will be following phase one of the Arizona Interscholastic Association’s guidelines for resuming sports during this time. Each player will bring their own gallon of water everyday, lockers rooms will be closed, and all work will be done outside. Players must be dropped off at the Roundhouse front entrance for check-in, and maintain social distancing.

The Bears also announced their schedule for the 2020 season. A highlight is the return of the rivalry with Santa Cruz Valley Union after years of not playing each other. The game will take place in Eloy on Sept. 4. The Bears will also face a 4A school on Sept. 18, as they travel to San Tan Valley to play Combs.

The Bears’ full schedule is as follows, and is subject to any delays caused by COVID-19.

  • Aug. 21 — Queen Creek Benjamin Franklin
  • Aug. 28 — Surprise Paradise Honors
  • Sept. 4 — Santa Cruz Valley Union
  • Sept. 11 — Phoenix Bourgade Catholic
  • Sept. 18 — Combs
  • Oct. 2 — American Leadership Academy-Ironwood
  • Oct. 9 — San Tan Foothills
  • Oct. 16 — Florence
  • Oct. 23 — Sabino