FLORENCE, S.C. — When Drew Marlowe was hired in mid-December as South Florence’s new football coach, it appeared he would have plenty of time to settle in before spring practice.

Or so, it appeared.

Now that the sports seasons have been suspended indefinitely because of the coronavirus, that also means there would be no in-person workout sessions for the Bruins.

With spring practice scheduled to start May 1 at the earliest, Marlowe tries to do what he can do.

“I hate the situation we are in. It is hard for me to comprehend how a virus could bring our country to our knees,” said Marlowe, who was a Sumter assistant before taking this job, replacing the resigned David Prince. “I think that the most important thing we can all do at this time is to pray for the leaders of our nation, state and school system.”

Marlowe then talked about how this pandemic has affected his program.

“We were really building momentum in the weight room, not just from a strength standpoint. We still have a long way to go there … but from the standpoint of the kids getting used to me and me to them,” Marlowe said. “For me, the most important part of the weight room from January to spring practice was to establish my expectations for our program and discipline.

“Learning to do things the right way all of the time was my biggest focus for our players in the weight room,” he added. “Teaching our players that in order to be winners, you have to do hard things. You don’t have to like the hard things, but if you want to be a winner, you have to do hard things.”

Next, Marlowe talked about how he communicates with his Bruins.

“Right now, I’m trying to stay in touch with my players as best I can. Staying on top of their well-being and academics is most important to me right now,” Marlowe said. “I would love for them all to be active. We’ve got some stuff out for them to do as a workout five days a week that doesn’t require them being in a weight room, but that’s not really my biggest concern. I want to make sure they are staying healthy, eating and getting their school work done. “

Oh, and then there’s spring practice.

“As far as adjustments to the preseason — at this point, I do not believe it’s a very good use of time to start making adjustments, because we just don’t know what will come next — or when the next thing will come, I’m staying in regular contact with many other head coaches around the state and that seems to be the only course of action for us at this time,” Marlowe said.

And that reminds Marlowe of the key principle to sanity: Aim to only control what you can control.

“There are so many unknowns. I do my best to avoid being in situations where the outcome is unknown,” Marlowe said. “Here is what I do know: The Lord is in control, and he will go before us and clear a path for us all.”

Prep Sports Writer

An eight-time APSE national award winner, Scott recently authored his first book,"70 Years of Thrills and Chills, Drama and Dents at Darlington Raceway." In college, Scott played on a tennis scholarship,

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