BYU Football Camp Opened With Optimism That 2020 Season Will Be Played
PROVO, Utah – BYU coach Kalani Sitake told the assembled virtual media he never thought he’d get to know Zoom meetings so well. But that’s life in 2020 amid COVID-19.
BYU opened up Training Camp –I struggle to say fall camp when it’s over 100 degrees outside– on Tuesday with players wearing masks on top of their facemasks. Felt like anything but normal, especially with no known game on the horizon for Sitake’s fifth year at the helm.
KSL Sports' Mitch Harper and Matt Baiamonte, hosts of Cougar Sports Saturday, share some of their commentaries on the quotes and storylines from BYU Football Fall Camp 2020 – Day 1.
Posted by KSL Sports on Tuesday, August 4, 2020
But despite no game one opponent set in stone after losing six matchups against Power 5 competition due to Conference-Only schedules. BYU coaches and players are keeping a positive outlook on the potential season.
“I think the unknowns will be known soon, I mean I’m hoping,” said Kalani Sitake. “I think you guys know me I’m an optimistic person so I’m gonna stay positive about it and then trust that things will work out and I just put a lot of faith in our players and leadership on this team to keep it rolling.”
Usually, Day 1 of training camp leads to media members showering Sitake with questions about position battles, and his assessment of the first practice. This year the questions centered on scheduling and navigating a global pandemic that we’re all trying to help prevent slowing the spread.
Sitake commended Tom Holmoe and BYU’s administration for getting them to the point where they could pull off a practice amid these conditions.
“I trust the leadership in our administration and I’m just really anxious, excited to get these guys to perform for our fans. That’s the goal,” Sitake said. “We want to get out there and get back to normal … seems like if you get things back to normal, the trend would be that you’re going to do normal things like watch sports and see my Utah Jazz shoot better from the three-point line, you know, stuff like that.
“You get to that point, next thing you know, football’s arrived and then, although there may be some adjustments that you do along the way you know we’re gonna be fine. I feel like it’s kind of trending towards that. And maybe keeping the faith a little bit about optimism, so that’s the key. I know there are other people that are the worst-case scenario type of people but I’m probably the opposite.”
When and if football arrives this season, Sitake has the opportunity to field his best team yet as head coach. BYU brings back the 15th most experienced team in college football this season and boasts a quarterback room that features three signal-callers who won games last season. Sitake praised the quarterback room after Day 1 including true freshman Sol-Jay Maiava who was the Polynesian Bowl Offensive MVP last January.
But all of that goes out the door if the 2020 season doesn’t get off the ground amid the pandemic. Having sets on a potential kickoff is all Sitake can think of at the moment.
“I think our only goal is to try to be ready for whatever happens and then hopefully we get those opportunities to play this fall and if we do, we’ll be ready by then.”
Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12-3 pm) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.
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