The Falkner Eagles are back on the practice field this week after an outbreak of the swine flu caused the cancellation of last Thursday game against Tippah County rival (and Daily Journal No. 1-ranked small school) Walnut.
Seven Falkner players, including several key starters, had confirmed cases of the swine flu.
The sickness combined with injuries limited Falkner coach Nickey Nance to 14 healthy bodies by last Wednesday afternoon. The game was canceled shortly thereafter.
Nance said his team looked better than he thought they would this week after missing two days of practice and last week’s game.
The Eagles, who took to the practice field on Monday, focused on getting back into the swing of football and correcting mistakes that cost them in their season-opener, a 33-25 loss to Alcorn Central.
“We didn’t push the guys extremely hard in their first day back. We worked on some defensive end and linebacker play and ran several sprints after practice, and they responded well,” Nance said Tuesday morning. “I thought the effort was good, but we’ll be able to tell a lot more today.”
When the Eagles entertain Marshall Academy this Friday, two weeks will have passed between games.
As for being in game shape and injury-free at this point in the season, Nance said there are advantages and disadvantages to canceling last week’s Joe Bowl.
“I hated missing that game for obvious reasons, but I feel like we made the right decision,” Nance said. “As far as it having an effect on our season, a game with Walnut is always a hard-fought game and full of hard hits, and we don’t know where we would be right now with injuries had we played the game.
“On the other hand, you hate to miss a week of contact. It’s like a double-edged sword.”
Kedrick Storey/Southern Sentinel