High school athletic teams in the state of Ohio were permitted by Governor Mike DeWine to implement additional workouts for contact sports beginning this week.
All sports endeavors within the state were closed down in March due to COVID-19 and the spring sports season was canceled.
Prep teams have gradually been permitted to reopen as of the first of June, as long as safety protocols were followed.
Today is the day that squads were permitted to add more activities to their workouts.
“The first two phases of workouts went very well for our teams,” said Marysville High School athletic director Joey Day. “Our coaches focused on the well-being of our student-athletes and I feel we’re getting the bar set for getting back into fall sports.”
Winter and spring sports teams, along with those in the fall, may also add more contact to off-season practices today.
Day said MHS teams will continue to focus on health and safety as practices begin to implement more activities.
“We will still have some guidelines to follow,” he said. “We’ll focus on social distancing and sanitize equipment and our training area between all sessions.”
Day also said parents will need to sign student waivers before practice sessions.
The Monarch football team, however, won’t be doing anything new until July 13, which is the start of its summer camp.
“Everything we’ve been doing so far with our conditioning and skill work has been effective,” said head coach Brent Johnson. “We’ve been working with smaller groups and teaching the game of football.
“We’re showing the guys why we do what we do and they seem to be enjoying it,” he said.
The coaching staff will permit more athletes (25-to-30) into the weight room at one time.
There were only 15 athletes allowed in the facility at one time earlier this month.
The Monarchs will be in summer camp the entire week of July 13 and for four days (Monday through Thursday) during the week of July 20.
Marysville will begin two-a-day preseason practices on Monday, Aug. 3.
Fall sports teams may begin practice on Saturday, Aug. 1.
“It really doesn’t make much sense for us to hold practice on Saturday, take Sunday off and resume on Monday,” said Johnson. “We’ve been working on skills every day this month and I really feel we’re already a couple of days ahead of schedule.”
Football teams in Ohio will not be permitted to wear helmets or shoulder pads right away.
“We may be able to advance to that level on July 6,” said Fairbanks head coach Patrick Cotter. “We’ll just have to wait and see.”
Cotter said the Panthers can now fit 50 athletes into the weight room at one time.
“However, we’ll still split guys between the weight room and on the field for skill work,” he said. “We can’t do any blocking or tackling, but we can do other drills.”
Fairbanks High School athletic director Larry Morris, like Day, felt the first two phases of workouts went well for his teams.
“Like everyone else, we’re still sanitizing and distancing,” he said. “However, we can at least put student-athletes across the field or net against each other.
“It’s not just going to be running and conditioning,” he said. “We can now hold some intra-squad scrimmages for each sport, but we can’t scrimmage against any other school at this time.”
It’s hard to tell just how long this phase of workouts will last.
“We’re just taking things day-to-day,” said Day. “We’re taking a slow approach to the next set-up.”
“We can do some seven-on-seven passing drills, but we’re not going to push the envelope just yet,” said Cotter.
“We are going to stick to the directives from the Union County Health Department, the state and our school administration,” said Morris.
“We’ll just have to see how the summer progresses,” he said. “That’s all we can do.”
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