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BRAD ROBICHAUX — Former PNG star Roschon Johnson talks quarantine impact

That’s what Roschon Johnson told me when I got the chance to speak to him. The University of Texas running back and former Port Neches-Groves quarterback was paying a visit to his alma mater during the Indians’ workouts on Monday.

Even for big Division I schools like UT, COVID-19 takes a little adjustment to get used to.

“It’s been a little weird, but it’s been an adjustment for everybody,” Johnson said, “We’ve been trying to follow the guidelines and stipulations as best as we can to make sure we’re safe.”

Johnson says he’s spent time with his fellow Longhorns and on his own staying in shape to get ready for the fall. It’s the part of the pandemic that he and his teammates can control at least.

“I can control what I can,” he said. “We just have to stay safe and stay out of its way.”

That means wearing masks and following the guidelines.

As much as the pandemic may seem beyond control, especially for an individual, there absolutely are things to be done within our control.

Athletes, especially football players, know it.

Memorial has had it’s own uncomfortably close brush with COVID-19 after one football player tested positive. Upon return, though, none of the other players contracted the virus. Memorial’s success at keeping the rest of the team from getting sick through it’s pandemic protocols is proof people aren’t completely powerless.

Without those protocols, those players don’t have practices, and likely wouldn’t be in good enough shape to play a season. That’s why, though it’s uncomfortable sometimes, they wear their masks out on the field under the hot summer sun. They’re controlling what they can.

When we see stadiums that are only half full, and signs everywhere requiring that masks must be worn, we need to remember that we, too, are exercising the powers at our disposal to fight the pandemic.

We are controlling what we can.

Even outside the stadium, wearing masks, staying apart and staying home whenever possible are all things within our power to do.

We don’t have a football season we’re working towards, but we have jobs, industries and recreation that can’t be safely brought back if we don’t do what we can to control the pandemic.

Plan for getting back to normal eventually, and plan on normal looking a little different for a while.

Coaches are planning for a long, full football season that’ll extend into December this year. They’re confident that they have a handle on how to keep their players and staff safe.

Even if so many things will look different, you can bet that it’ll still be football.

Brad Robichaux is a reporter for Port Arthur Newsmedia. He can be reached at brad.robichaux@panews.com.