Before high school sports teams can get back to work, area coaches must first tackle this:
A list of guidelines from the LHSAA on how to return to practice.
“They want us to have the kids already dressed, to not use our clothes,” says Austin Brown, first year Head Coach for Northwood Football. “Very minimal contact in the locker room.”
The list of guidelines still raises questions, and first year Parkway Head Football Coach Coy Brotherton has a pressing one.
“If you can’t be in contact and you can’t share equipment, how do you practice a safe lift?” says Brotherton. “Also, if volleyball can practice and hit a ball, why can’t we pick up a football?”
Airline Head Coach Bo Meeks forsees other issues.
“Water is a big thing, each kid is going to have to individually bring their own bottle,” says Meeks. “If they don’t have water that day, they’re not going to be able to work out.”
First year head coaches like Brown and Brotherton are falling even farther behind installing their systems. But, the way they see it, so is everyone else.
“Even these teams that are bringing back the same system, the same players, even when they get their kids back after three months off, they’re starting at day one, as well,” says Brotherton.
“It’s definitely been baptism by fire for me,” says Brown. “But we’re gonna get through it and be better on the other side of this.”
Even with strict sanitation guidelines and group size restrictions, re-uniting with their teams is the first step to things getting back to normal.
“The light at the end of the tunnel…that is June 8 has got everybody excited and we can’t wait here at Northwood,” says Brown.
In the end, these coaches all have one goal in mind:
“The most important thing for all of us is the health and safety of our kids, our coaches, and their families,” says Coach Meeks.