After gyms, practice fields and weight rooms have sat quiet and empty for almost exactly three months, the Osceola County School District will allow athletes to return to campus to work out with coaches Monday morning.
“It’s about being ready to go July 27, it’s a six-week process to avoid physical problems related to inactivity,” Osceola County Schools Athletic Director Ryan Adams said at the end of May, noting that date is the official start of fall 2020 practices for sports like football, volleyball, swimming, cross country and golf, which the FHSAA still says it’s still on track for.
Athletes who are participating in such conditioning will need completely-filled out paperwork, active physicals and online clearance to participate — coaches have reached out to players regarding this — and will need to bring all of their equipment needs themselves — towels, hats, shoes, filled water bottles (bring a gallon), and such. They will be temperature checked and asked screening questions in the school gym buildings on arrival.
Osceola County is the second in Central Florida to start workouts. Seminole County began last week.
Celebration High Athletic Director Rick Tribit said Monday may be a morning of paperwork and meeting up with coaches rather than practicing.
And about that practice: it will be limited to conditioning and 50 percent exertion in weight rooms (maximum 25 in weight rooms at a time if 6-foot distancing can be maintained). There will be no sports-specific equipment used the first two weeks — so no throwing a football or hitting a volleyball — no contact drills, and locker rooms are off limits.There are additional guidelines for sanitation.
The workouts are voluntary, but phased. If an athlete begins working out next week, they will be on the initial phase of conditioning.
St. Cloud Athletic Director Eric Godfrey said any problems won’t be for a lack of effort.
“We’re hoping nothing happens and we roll to July 27,” he said. “We’ve done everything to put the guidelines in place to protect our athletes.”