Tolman High football team creating plan to prepare for possible spring season

The team is trying to figure out where they'll go from here to keep players engaged and motivated throughout the year.

PAWTUCKET, R.I. (WLNE) – In the wake of the governor’s announcement last week canceling the fall football season, the Tolman High School football team is trying to figure out where they’ll go from here to keep players engaged and motivated.

With the possibility of a football season this spring as an alternative, the head coach Jason DeLawrence laid out a plan for his team Tuesday.

“You have to stay motivated in the next three to four months. We have to,” DeLawrence told his players.

“That’s the only thing I look forward to going to school, to get to play sports, and play football,” said Team Captain Leandro Depina.

DeLawrence, knowing many of his players feel the same, is concerned about what could happen without football as a motivator.

Even Tuesday, he noted that the attendance was already low at their meeting.

“If you don’t give them an option to do something, they will find something to do and it’s always not the most positive thing,” said DeLawrence. “So I want to make sure I give them a positive outlet to see their friends.”

“Football’s what keeps them going and some of them are like – if they’re not playing football they’re not coming to school,” said Depina. “They start giving up because they don’t got anything else to do.”

To keep his players out of trouble and motivated, DeLawrence is encouraging them to join the soccer team in the fall so they can stay active. He’s also planning to try and get them into a local gym a few times a week.

“Season now, season later, you have to be prepared 100 percent all the time,” said Senior Justin DeCosta.

And perhaps most importantly, since Pawtucket is starting school remotely, DeLawrence is planning to organize tutoring for his players at the library with local college students, to keep their grades up in anticipation of the spring season.

“When football is here, I have the carrot as I like to say. I have them here, I seem them everyday,” said DeLawrence. “Now it’s going to be real difficult, not going to know what’s going on.”

There is a protest to allow the football and volleyball seasons to go on as planned scheduled for this Saturday at the state house and many of the Tolman players say they are planning to attend.

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