Hendersonville High Boys’ football coach, Stuart Scott, is also a nurse. So if any of his players have any medical problems in training or in a match, they’ll be ready in no time.

Now, with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, he can do another invaluable task every time his players step onto the field.

“As a nurse, I was able to run a health screen for every player at every training session or session,” he said.

When the North Carolina High School Athletic Association suspended high school sports last March, the coach said he was concerned the boys’ football season would not happen at all.

The NCHSAA then announced a new, revised schedule in the fall, with boys’ football now starting in January instead of August. Even so, the coach and his players were happy to only have one season, and this was reflected in the number of players participating in off-season training sessions, Scott said.

“In August I wasn’t sure how the boys would react to the NCHSAA’s decision to postpone the season,” said the coach. “I wanted to convey a sense of normalcy, so I set up optional training sessions that again focused on developing and conditioning skills according to state and NCHSAA guidelines. I was pleasantly surprised by the turnout … we regularly had 12- 15 boys. “”

The football season officially began on January 11th with the first official training session. Teams will now start playing on January 25th and the season will be limited to just 14 games. Hendersonville opens its season on Monday February 1st in Polk County.

To prevent the virus from spreading, the NCHSAA has mandated that all players and coaches wear face covers during training and games.

“I am delighted that we are now considered ‘in season’ … of course, player safety will always be our main concern. The daily health screens will continue and we will follow the new mandatory 100% face coverings at all times.” Said Scott.

Scott, who works in the medical field, said he had seen the effects of COVID-19 firsthand.

“We’ve been crazy busy in the hospital lately, as you can imagine in the current climate,” he said.

The coach said his players are ready to face the new challenges of the season. Last year the Bearcats went 12: 9: 1 into the first round of the 2-A playoffs. This year’s group consists of eight seniors, including goalkeeper Luke Matteson and striker Levi Hord, who scored 13 goals.

“I can’t say enough about the leadership our seniors have taken. They set the tone for exercises that bring excitement and a great attitude to any exercise. It’s contagious to shape a current sentence for the rest of the team. I’m looking forward to seeing how that energy affects the field, “said Scott.

Other Henderson County teams open their season on Monday. Murphy will be in East Henderson at 4 p.m. and Erwin in West Henderson and Tuscola in North Henderson. In other games on Monday, Polk County will host Pisgah and Brevard Madison at 5 p.m.