Hamburg Lion Football Plan for Return to Play - COVID

May 29, 2020 by Cecil Ray Cossey

Hamburg Lion Football Players and Parents, 

As coaches, we are BEYOND EXCITED that we will be starting summer workouts on Monday, June 1. Coaches and administrators spent this entire past week preparing a plan and preparing our facilities to be a safe and productive environment for our athletes.

Coaches have already been in contact with your athletes over the last several days to lay out the big picture. We are still looking at numbers, trying to be flexible with players having jobs, and trying to divide the players into even groups for morning and evening workouts on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday only during the month of June. 

Also, we have decided to start our return slowly with only senior high players lifting during the month of June. We know that our Junior High players are chomping at the bit to get going, but we feel it is best at this time to take a slow and easy approach in these unprecedented times. We hope and anticipate that the Junior High players will begin lifting on Monday, July 6.

Your player will receive instructions tonight (Friday) on how to "request" his preferred time slots for the upcoming weeks using our football website and his school district GMail account. Then, over the weekend, your player will receive "confirmation" of which time slots he has reserved for the upcoming week. Most players should receive their preferred time slot. In the event that one time slot fills up and one or more players are therefore not able to attend their preferred time slot, preference will be given by seniority and/or time of request (aka first come first serve).

Once again, our number one priority remains the safety of our athletes and coaches. We will do EVERYTHING in our power to follow every guideline and help enforce that our players do the same.  Please take a few minutes and read over the plan we will be using for Hamburg Lion Football below. If you would like to see the guidance we were given by the Arkansas Activities Association (AAA), please visit

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to call me at 501-318-3445 or email me at 

We can't wait to see your kids! We miss our second families! Go Lions!

Return to Play for Hamburg Lion Football
June 1, 2020

Facility Access

Athletes MUST have a physical from the last 15 months to be allowed access to our facilities.

Physical dates for the 20-21 school year are being set by Mainline and will be announced as soon as possible.

Athletes will be allowed into the weight room, turf room, and practice fields only. 

Restrooms are to be used for emergency situations only and by no more than one player at a time. The stalls will be cleaned before another player is allowed to use the restroom. Water fountains are not to be used at all.

Athletes will NOT be allowed in either locker room at any time during the month of June.

A one time exception will be made for each athlete to retrieve personal items remaining from March to take home as we did for backpacks and other personal belongings. A maximum of three athletes will be allowed in the locker room at one time. Social distancing and face covering guidelines will be strictly enforced.

Athletes will arrive each day dressed in their own athletic shorts, t-shirt, and tennis shoes. Athletes will also bring a personal, pre-filled water bottle and towel. The personal towel is for themselves - NOT for cleaning equipment. 

Athletes who are not currently on our teams for next year will NOT be allowed access to our facilities.


Athletes should wait next to the vehicle they arrived in to be screened.

Athletes and coaches will be screened by a coach before entering the facilities with the following questions:

Have you had a fever of 100.4 or greater in the last 2 days?

Have you had a cough, difficulty breathing, sore throat, or loss of taste or smell?

Have you had contact with a person known to be infected with COVID-19 within the previous 14 days?

Athletes will be reminded before entry each day to avoid non-sports contact such as high fives, fist bumps, etc.

Coaches are required to have their temperature verified by a digital thermometer to be lower than 100.4. 

Though not required by the state, we will also verify athlete temperatures before allowing entry.

Hand sanitizer stations and/or hand washing stations will be available for athletes and coaches. 

Social Distancing

Athletes will remain at least TWELVE FEET apart at all times unless "actively participating in the sports activity." Athletes will lift alone when possible. Athletes will lift in pairs only when the type of lift or the amount of weight makes it necessary. These pairs will stay the same throughout the month of June if at all possible. 

Our planning and scheduling will be done with this "same pair" lifting model as a top priority. For week one, ALL weight lifting will be done completely alone. There will be no pairs or spotters for week one.

When outside or in the turf room, lines will be spaced out with as much horizontal room in between as possible, which should exceed the minimum of TWELVE FEET.  If there are multiple people in the same line, the successive lines will remain five yards, FIFTEEN FEET, apart. 

We will use a "snake" approach for our running/agility drills that will keep the players from having to run past each other every time. For details on the "snake" approach, see the back page.

Face Coverings

Face coverings must completely cover the mouth and nose. No specific type of face covering or material is required. Cloth face coverings are permitted.

Athletes must wear a face covering at all times, unless actively participating in the sports activity. 

Face coverings should be worn in line, between drill reps, and in all transition periods. 

The ONLY time a face covering can be lowered is during the actual activity, which does NOT include spotting. Spotters will be required to wear the face covering while spotting.

Coaches must wear a face covering at all times.

Weight Rack Cleaning

A weight rack includes the bar, the weights, and the bench used at a single weight station. Racks are to be cleaned by the athlete at the end of each weight session so that athletes are cleaning after themselves and not after someone else. Athletes will use one and only one rack while lifting. Athletes will also be required to wear a shirt at all times.

Coaches will closely monitor the rack cleaning.

We will have both spray bottles and buckets filled with a cleaning solution. There will be a rag for each individual player in each bucket. After use, the rags will be dropped in a separate "waste" bucket to only be handled and washed by coaches in a touch-less manner at the end of the day. These rags will be the ONLY items washed by coaches on a daily basis.


To start, we will only have senior high lifting sessions. We will add junior high at a date to be determined later. 

We will offer a morning lift from 7:00 to 8:30 am on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. We will also offer an evening lift from 5:00 to 6:30 pm on Monday and Wednesday.

Varsity starters will be encouraged to make two workouts per week if possible. There will be NO mandatory workouts at this time and ZERO playing time conversations for all of June. 

Coaches will be understanding for players and parents who are not comfortable returning immediately. We will develop an off-site, virtual plan to monitor the conditioning progress of the athletes that are not comfortable returning immediately.

Snake Technique Details

Using the example of a sprint workout with 30 players, we could split into 10 lines with 3 players in each. 

To start the drill, the lines would be spread across the field equally spaced and at least TWELVE FEET apart. The first line would be spread across the 20 yard line for instance. Then, the following two lines would be spread across the 15 and 10 yard lines respectively.  The spacing would allow for TWELVE FEET of space to the left and right and FIFTEEN FEET of space to the front and back.

Let%u2019s say the drill was 40 yard build-ups, the first line would run the 40 yards required and then walk 5 yards as always. They would also walk an additional 10 yards to make room for the other two lines. The second line would then run the 40 yard drill and walk 5 yards plus an additional 5 yards to make room for the last line. The third line would then run the 40 yard drill and walk 5 yards. 

For the second rep, the last line becomes the first line. This process can be repeated as much as needed without the players ever having to get closer than TWELVE FEET from each other.

Proud Sponsor

Cecil Ray Cossey

Head Football Coach
Hamburg High School
As Head Coach of the Hamburg Lions, Coach Cossey strives to produce winners both on and off the field. 

His wife, Misty, works at Noble/Albritton Elementary School in Hamburg. Their three daughters also attend NAES. 

Coach Cossey also enjoys hunting, fishing, and spending time with family.