Halifax County Middle School football team

The Halifax County Middle School football team is focusing on fundamentals, including blocking, prior to its season-opener, a game against Patrick County Middle School at Tuck Dillard Memorial Stadium on Tuesday.

Like school sports across Virginia, the Halifax County Middle School football program is working past delays caused by COVID-19-related issues, with an abbreviated schedule starting in early spring instead of late summer.

Coach Kenneth Day, along with assistants Joe Martin, Zach Carter and Hakeem Pettus are working with approximately 25 athletes to prepare the team for its home-opener, the first game of the season currently scheduled for Tuesday against Patrick County Middle School, with the game beginning at 5:30 p.m.

The Lions are on the fast track as the season-opener approaches, installing plays and identifying players for each position, Day explained during a recent practice.

“In the last week and a half, we’ve gotten some of the guys in shape and found some positions for them,” said Day, adding coaches have begun the process of installing plays on both sides of the offensive formation.

Coaches also have installed several defensive formations, but the overall focus has been on fundamentals, including how to block and how to tackle, Day continued.

It’s been since the fall of 2019 since the middle school football team last played, and Day expressed a note of confidence heading into the season, looking at numbers including players from each grade at practice.

“We have a mix between all three classes, a lot of first-time players, and it’s a wok in progress,” he explained.

It’s been more than a year between middle school football games, and another goal at this point is to simply give the players an opportunity to get on the field and perform, Day noted.

“Let them have some fun and see what happens,” Day said. “I just want to get them on the field.”