FEATURE: Albany’s Faith, the dean of Big Country coaches, looked at COVID crisis as his biggest challenge

ALBANY — With the retirement of Wylie’s Hugh Sandifer during the offseason, Albany’s Denney Faith became the dean of Big Country football coaches, with 33 years, 307 victories, 16 district titles and four trips to state championship games on his résumé. 

There are very few challenges he hasn’t seen during his storied career and been able to overcome. Yet a virus from far-off China known as COVID-19 has proven to be the single most perplexing hurdle he has faced in more than three decades of coaching.

“It is a challenge, but it’s a challenge that’s invisible,” Faith said. “As a coach, you can see all the other stuff. You can see your opponent, you have to deal with the weather and while they may be tough to deal with, you can see all of it coming. 

“But (COVID) was out of the blue and it’s an invisible opponent. You really don’t know how to handle it. … As far as I know, to this extent, (we’ve) never had to face a challenge like this. So this was new for everybody.”  

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