The Hopkinsville Tigers celebrate a goal in Monday night’s loss to UHA. The Tigers are in the midst of a big stretch as they try to get up to speed with the rest of the teams after missing the first two weeks of the season.

The Aaron Hutchison era at Hoptown definitely didn’t get off to the start the first-year head coach wanted to.

Before even suiting up to play a game, the program was shut down for two weeks due to COVID-19 and now, the Tigers are playing catch up.

Coming into this past weekend only having played three games on the year, the Tigers will have played six matches in four days, trying to get back up to speed and catch up with the rest of the state.

“By Tuesday, we’ll be right up there with everybody in the state with how many games we’ve played,” Hutchison said. “It’s a speed-up process to get us back to where we need to be. We’re just going to take it a day at a time.”

While the Tigers have yet to find a win on the year coming into Tuesday, Hutchison is just focused on getting his player re-acclimated to his system and getting them into action so his young group can gain some experience, even without every player being back quite yet.

“It’s just getting back into the swing of things in practice,” Hutchison said. “This month, we’re not going to get the chance to practice a lot because of rescheduling games. We’re going to have to get our experience on the field.

“We’re still dealing with the lingering effects … we’re not at full strength. We’ll get there and hopefully, it’ll filter its way through our team and we won’t have to worry about it anymore. It is what it is, you’ve just got to deal with it.”

This stretch could prove to be pivotal for the Tigers as they got to play host to the Boots and Butts soccer tournament and played four games over the weekend.

That on top of the grueling schedule ahead, it could give Hoptown some much-needed experience and continue to get them ready for the remainder of the year.

“One of the best fitness things you can do is play in a game,” he said. “Just playing that many games in a row, it really helps. If you’re out here playing four games in a weekend, you’re getting that consistency.”

In the past two weeks since coming back, although the Tigers haven’t come away with a win yet, are making progress and Hutchison is hoping to continue to trend in the right direction.

“We do a good job of putting the ball together and possessing the ball — our problem is getting that goal and putting that finishing touch on it,” he said. “We are doing a lot of good things. A lot of the guys that are young playing right now. We’re getting better every day and that’s the key to it.”

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