Things are not back to normal with the Brindlee Mountain High School football team but they’ve at least stabilized, and head coach Keith Garner on Tuesday fully expected to play Friday’s game at Collinsville.

It would be the team’s first action after being forced to forfeit the last two weeks because of COVID-19 infections and/or protocols.

The Collinsville game is one of three the Lions had to forfeit last season for the same reason, thus why it is a road game for the Lions this year.

“We’re going to put together a team and go play a game,” Garner declared. “We’re not sitting out again.

“We’re going to do whatever we have to do to play this week.”

As of Tuesday, Garner conceded, he wasn’t sure what that meant.

The team had 14 players able to practice on Monday but only eight showed up.

“That was more of a Labor Day thing than a Covid thing,” Garner said.

He expected more to return from isolation on Tuesday then even more on Wednesday, putting the team back near the numbers it had when it played Holly Pond in the opener on Aug. 20.

The virus interrupted all athletic events at Brindlee Mountain the past two weeks. The high school and middle school volleyball teams finally returned to action last Thursday.

The football team, meanwhile, lost games against Douglas and Sylvania. The Douglas game apparently is being viewed as a no-contest as the Eagles found a replacement home game with Woodville.

The Sylvania game, however, was a 3A, Region 7 game and had to go down as a forfeit. Collinsville is also a Region 7 opponent.

With so much time and effort going into getting a team on the field, Brindlee Mountain coaches will have less-than-normal time actually preparing for Collinsville.

“We’ll know who we have (available) later in the week,” Garner said. “It’s literally day-by-day. It’s a tough deal but it’s just one of those things you have to deal with.

“And I have to stay strong and optimistic because those kids are looking at the coaches.

“We have to stay strong and steady and present a positive outlook and that’s what we’re trying to do.”

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