Pillow Academy head football coach Tripp McCarty shouts instructions Thursday during a limited workout. PA started up Monday after the Mid-South Association of Independent Schools ruled that teams can begin lifting and running for sports but with restrictions to help promote public safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tripp McCarty was excited to get his players back on the field, even if it was a little different.

Mid-South Association of Independent Schools allowed teams to begin conditioning drills and workouts this week in small groups. McCarty, the head football coach at Pillow Academy, said he was quite pleased with the effort he saw from his guys the first week back.

“We got back to work with our focus on running and explosive movements. The week went very well, and now I am hoping to get back to a routine that puts us on track for the season to start on time,” McCarty said.

The Mustangs are set to open the season Aug. 21.

The feeling in Carrollton for Bo Milton at Carroll Academy was much the same as McCarty’s, one of relief that things are moving in the right direction.

“I think the kids and coaches are all happy to be back. Our kids responded great so far and have been very focused. I think they are happy to be back at it,” Milton said. “We were out there doing a lot of movement exercises, similar to CrossFit movements.

“We will just continue to monitor the situation and do what is required of us to do.”

The Rebels’ season opener is set for Aug. 21, and Milton said he was optimistic the MAIS football season would start on time.

Pillow seniors Lawes McCool and Christian Belk, two of the Mustangs’ team leaders, are both hoping nothing interrupts their final high school season, but for now they are focused on the present.

“With all of us having all of our workouts on our own has made us all a little bit more dedicated to working hard. And Monday when we all finally got together and had a workout, it was awesome and everyone was grinding,” said McCool.

Contact Bill Burrus at 581-7237 or

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.