Coronavirus protocols of a year ago are a thing of the past at high school football practices across the Tri-state. However another pandemic of sorts has taken it's place.
While there's no longer sideline social distancing or coaches shouting through masks, supply chain problems, much like those hamstringing nearly every other industry around the globe, are holding up delivery of football equipment, specifically helmets and mouth guards, forcing area squads to improvise.
Just like anything else across the country," said Mater Dei Head Coach Mike Goebel, "auto companies are having trouble, computer companies are having trouble, we're having trouble, even down to mouthpieces. Helmets are a big issue across the board. Other equipment is on delay, back order, things like that. Luckily for us, we had enough certified equipment that we can go on. We've got some great suppliers in town, that take care of most of the schools. They are working their tails off trying to get everything they can, as quickly as they can."
"I don't think it's getting any better," said Castle Head Coach Doug Hurt. "We got a note from Ridell the other day that they had a fire at one of their suppliers. When it rains, it pours. Covid and shortages as it is, with people trying to get parts. You've had mishaps that effect cars, helmets, pretty much everything that you could want as a consumer. Those are real issues and we're all working through them, trying to get what we need. Our suppliers have been great. They're doing the best they can. It's just a little bit of a tough environment right now."
The high school football season kicks off in Indiana Friday, August 20th.