By Ray Hamill — For the Eureka Loggers, the real work is now just beginning, including finding a field to play and practice on.
The news on Friday that all outdoor sports in the state have been cleared to play under certain conditions means we should see H-DNL football return to the North Coast in the coming weeks.
The league must still get approval from local health officials, but assuming they get the go-ahead the work now begins in earnest for the players and coaches, and there will be plenty to take care of in a short amount of time.
“We have a long list of things to do, but it’s worth it. It’s going to benefit the kids,” Eureka head coach Andrew Haraldson said. “It’s going to be like spring ball on steroids.”
The H-DNL is scheduled to meet on Wednesday and first order of business will be to decide on a potential starting date and schedule.
The Loggers, however, also need to find a home to play and practice in, with Albee Stadium and the Eureka High fields currently deemed unsafe to play on.
“I’ve got to build a football facility,” Haraldson joked, admitting that he doesn’t know where his team will play or even practice at this stage, but that they are looking into multiple options.
Despite the challenges ahead, the first-year head coach says his players were excited to get the news on Friday.
And he stressed to them that their work begins immediately as well.
Junior lineman Shyloh Nicholson, who joined the Elite Level of Loggers weight lifting during the lockdown and has developed into a team leader, has immediately set his teammates a Loggers fitness and conditioning challenge online, posting it on Friday.
“I talked to the kids and they’re excited,” Haraldson said. “And I’ve been telling them, hey, we go right now.”
In addition to the challenge of finding a home for the season, Haraldson must also find a replacement for offensive coordinator Mo Purify, who has moved out of the area.
“It’s going to be a group effort,” he said. “We’re working on a plan.”
Despite all the work involved in getting the season up and running, Haraldson says he’s looking forward to it and that he has had great support from his coaching staff.
“It’s a whirlwind,” he said. “But we’re chomping at the bit.”