Hintz, RCTC get back into the swing of football action, hope for a full season
Aug. 24—Rochester Community and Technical College football head coach Derrick Hintz almost feels like he is starting over.
Hintz is beginning his 19th season as a football coach at RCTC and his sixth as the head coach, which has covered two stints. But after not having a season a year ago due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Hintz is a little out of practice on the day-to-day routines of the job.
"I almost feel like a new coach," Hintz said. "I'm walking in and I'm like 'Dang it, I didn't do this, I didn't do that.' I feel like a new coach because I'll stumble across things and think I should have done that two weeks ago."
Heading into the season, Hintz has had plenty on his mind and is constantly dealing with a plethora of details, including keeping tabs on players who arrive at different times on campus from a wide section of the country.
RCTC opens its 2021 season when it hosts Vermilion at 3 p.m. Saturday at Rochester Regional Stadium. RCTC players were allowed to work out some a year ago, but could not practice with coaches.
"It's almost like it's a brand new learning curve," Hintz said. "We couldn't do anything last year. It's literally been two years since I've done this.
"But it's all working out, I have a great coaching staff," he added. "And we've got good kids."
Most of the coaching staff is new as well, including offensive coordinator Dan Pippin, a retired high school coach from South Carolina, and defensive coordinator Rob Kitts, who is retired from the military.
Dave Dallstream, the offensive line coach, played in the Big Ten at Northwestern under the late Denny Green, who would later become the coach of the Minnesota Vikings.
While the season is going forward, the Minnesota College Athletic Conference is being cautious in regards to the pandemic. All players and coaches in the MCAC who are not vaccinated must be tested once a week.
"What I want is a full complete season," Hintz said. "Is it going to happen? I have no clue."
Hintz is unsure what percent of his players have been vaccinated. But he is taking extra steps to makes sure all of his players at certain positions maintain a safe social distance.
"We have contact tracing which is why when we do meetings and stuff I've got a quarterback here, a quarterback here, a quarterback here, a running back here," Hintz said. "We've got them all spread out so we don't lose four quarterbacks."
The MCAC is down to eight teams for football this season. If teams are forced to miss games due to COVID, there will not be forfeits, but rather non-contests.
"It won't count for you or against you," Hintz said. "... Let's hope it doesn't come to that."
The Southeastern Minnesota High School Bowling League is starting and any student from any southeastern Minnesota school, including home schools, is eligible to bowl.
Thirteen teams from the area are seeking students grades 6-12 to be members.
For more information, contact any area bowling center or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Guy N. Limbeck is a sports writer for the Post Bulletin. His Local Notebook appears each Tuesday. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.