FAIRMONT, W.Va. – Nick Bartic’s crew had their three week period cut short due to the recommended halt of all sports practices in Marion County just a few weeks ago.
With the original practice date of August 3 pushed back to Aug. 17, the Fairmont Senior High School football team is using its flex days wisely.
The Polar Bears have six flex days and plan to use them twice a week leading up to the practice start date.
Bartic said they’ll use these days to keep everybody sharp and maintain a good mental perspective. He also likes where his Polar Bears are at despite the wrench thrown in the original practice plans.
“These flex days go a long way for the young guys in particular who would probably be little further along by now in terms of having them ready and not feeling so overwhelmed as we start practice. For the older guys for them its just a matter of kind of just fine tuning their craft,” Bartic said.
Bartic also noted that he can tell his younger players have really put the work in learning the playbook and getting prepared to contribute this season.
“We’ve had some freshman come in and have really shown the work in terms of learning the playbook, understanding where they need to be. It’s pretty impressive and also lets you see the guys who really care and really work hard. They’re capable of learning the offense pretty quick and it shows. They’ll be competing for starting jobs even though they’re underclassmen,” Bartic said.
Older guys are showing leadership as well.
“We also have some guys, upperclassmen who have really put in a lot of off season work who are going to be challenging for starting roles who have not started at this point and are really embracing their opportunity to have a bigger role in terms of playing time,” Bartic said.