BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — The Bakersfield College Renegades football team was set to open up spring workouts on Monday, but with COVID-19, the team and their new football coach R. Todd Littlejohn have to wait to meet up on a field.
The first-year head coach was excited to link up with his team and get his first chance to see how his players are as a unit.
“Be able to see the kids as they transition from, you know, the working out in the weight room stuff and then being able to see them at their specific position. So, you know, it's obviously, you know, a little disappointing and frustrating but it's not something that that you know, anybody can control," Littlejohn said.
Instead of making adjustments on the field, Littlejohn is now adjusting to coaching from home.
“You know, I just missed being in the office. I missed the smell of it all. You know, I know. You know the football smell," Littlejohn said.
Another challenge for all teams following this pause on sports will be limiting injuries once the teams get back to practice. For the Renegades, their first time allowed on the practice fields will be July 13.
Littlejohn is relying on conversations with fellow coaches on how to handle adjusting training once they return.
"What are they doing? Are they offsetting anything modifying anything as well, to make sure that, again, we're looking for the best interests of the student-athletes," Littlejohn said.
While all coaching responsibilities stack up, like, checking on players, recruiting, preparing for the season, it's possibly the blend of the home and work life that's been the toughest balance.
"At the house is just a different environment. You know, because I am Dad, I am husband so you have different responsibilities at home on a 24-hour basis," Littlejohn said.
And, as he's reminded of the importance of routines, he continues to instill that mantra for his players.
"Just because you know you have glitches right now doesn't mean that you stop doesn't mean that you stopped performing academically in class. You know, everyone is doing online work. So all of those things are still in place," he said.
Outside of the summer workouts, the Renegades are set to hold fall camp starting August 11, and I'm sure Coach Littlejohn will be the first one on the field when that day arrives.
“I'll be the first one probably wake up out of my sleeping bag there that night, you know, and got my whistle, got my glasses and everything," Littlejohn said with a laugh.