Since a snowstorm dumped 5 to 7 inches of snow throughout the state, no team has been able to practice or play much, making today's return to action hard to predict.
"You never know how they're going to react. ... You just never know. They're young kids," Cartersville boys basketball coach Dennis Godfrey said. "[Monday] was our first practice since our game with Cedartown [Jan. 7]."
While conditioning figures to be an issue, it may not be the biggest concern for coaches who lost days of preparation by not being able to hold practice.
"The biggest challenge is not being able to practice and [work] on things you've already planned," said Excel Christian boys basketball coach Gary Boulier, Jr., whose team practiced Saturday and Monday. "Conditioning is not that big of a deal. ... My kids, a bunch of them we're playing anyway. A lot of them were doing that on their own anyway.
"I feel pretty good about my kids being in [good] condition."
Adairsville High's boys and girls basketball teams were one of the few teams to get a game in during the layoff, hosting Gordon Central over the weekend.
"We actually got to play last Saturday," Lady Tigers coach Michael Roberson said. "[The layoff] was tough on us and on coach [Jacob] Travis's team, the boys' team, because we didn't get to practice while we were out of school. ... All the teams in our region [7-AA], they were able to continue practicing at least two days during that time off.
"It was so cold and nasty that last couple of days kids didn't get out of the house much."
That lack of practice time factored into Adairsville's game with the Lady Warriors early on and later in the game, he said.
"Beyond the first quarter, we were OK ... but you could tell late in the game," Roberson added. "It's almost like just starting over again."
The Purple Hurricanes have barely gotten started this season, playing eight games thus far, the least of any team in the county.
"I think it's going to be to our advantage because we get our kids a little later," said Godfrey, who had players Talique Cochran, T.J. Turner, Devin O'Connor and Aaron Foster join the team in late November after Cartersville's trip to the first round of the state playoffs in football. "We're still trying to find the right combination. ... We need to play and get familiar with each other."
In addition to their return to competitive action, student-athletes also have to get re-adjusted to going to school again.
"Going back to school for the first day in over a week, they're used to staying up late, sleeping in late," Roberson said.
"I think that's the biggest thing, just getting back to school and getting back to the schedule," Boulier said Monday. "Tomorrow's our first day back after 10 days."
Today's schedule includes: Adairsville at Pepperell, Cartersville hosting Murray County and Excel Christian at Gordon Lee in basketball, and Woodland hosting Murray County for Senior Night in wrestling.