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Nevada football starts fall camp with season still in jeopardy

Published: Jul. 31, 2020 at 7:46 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - The Nevada football team is back together.

The Wolf Pack has completed its gradual return to Reno, kicking off training camp Friday from Wolf Pack Park.

”I was grinning when I went to bed last night and I didn’t sleep a whole lot,” said Jay Norvell, Nevada’s head coach. “I was so excited to be back on the field.”

But things look different as Norvell’s fourth season in Reno approaches. With the Coronavirus still a major concern across the country, Nevada is taking “stringent” precautions.

The Wolf Pack has split the team in two groups, keeping numbers down as they hold two separate practices each day. The team and staff are tested weekly for COVID-19. They’re also keeping all position group meetings virtual. The lockerroom is closed and players are getting ready under tents added outside.

So far, the virus hasn’t affected any of Nevada’s operations.

“Our world has changed. We had to learn new ways to operate coming back,” said Norvell. “We’re encouraging our players to wear masks anytime they’re with another human being.”

Nevada is scheduled to host UC Davis on August 29th at Mackay Stadium, but those plans could quickly change. Across the country, multiple conferences have elected to play a league-only schedule, eliminating non-conference games.

The Wolf Pack lost its scheduled September 5th game at Arkansas when the Southeastern Conference made the move.

“We do not have a long-term vision, we do not have a crystal ball,” said Norvell. “We’re just taking this one day at a time, and one week at a time.”

Norvell, who says they’ve “got a pretty good football team”, hopes the season takes place in some form. He says having his 116 players in this structured environment is much safer than if they were still at home.

”It’s really easy to say the smartest thing to do is not play,” said Norvell. “There’s a real downside to not playing, too.”

“These kids will never get this opportunity again.”

Norvell also said the team’s continuing to have conversations around social justice in America. He says they plan to connect with local high school teams to further “stand firm” against inequality.

We’ll continue to cover Nevada’s fall camp over the coming weeks.

Copyright 2020 KOLO. All rights reserved.

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