A change in the Virginia High School League rule book is giving coaches the opportunity to work with their athletes year-round, something that's never been allowed in years past.
"Many coaches have been penalized for doing illegal coaching in the off season," says Northside athletic director Butch Tyree. "I don't know if they were tired of fighting the illegal things going on, or finally realized to just let the coaches work with kids in the off season."
It's a change that both coaches and athletes have been noticing.
"From this year to last year is completely different," says Northside football player Jacob Plasser. "Last year we just stood around and talked, this year you have a certain time limit to get your lift done."
In an effort to keep athletes from getting burnt out and give them a chance to focus on other sports as well, the rule designates several "dead periods" throughout the year. During these times, no athletes are allowed to practice.
"It's hard on me," says Northside's Coach Torrence. "I want to be around them. These are my kids. I love my kids, they're as important in my life as my own offspring. And if you're going to ask them to be committed, then how can I not be committed?"