CISD Athletic Director Koetting says he’s ready for workouts
The University Interscholastic League (UIL) released requirements and guidelines for its member schools to begin limited UIL summer strength and conditioning, and marching band practice, starting next Monday, June 8, as restrictions due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic begin to be lifted across the state of Texas.
Schools may use discretion when considering whether or not to offer in-person programs, and areas of the state facing COVID-19-related challenges should consult with local health officials to determine what additional restrictions, if any, should be added to these guidelines. Schools deciding to move forward with offering in-person activities are encouraged to do so carefully and with vigilance, ensuring safety requirements outlined in this approach are closely adhered to in order to mitigate risk.
“We are definitely excited that we’ll get to be in front of our kids again,” said CHS Athletic Director Chris Koetting.
Starting on Monday, June 8, Koetting said, his football players will be able to start working out again, though, there will be lots of restrictions. The weight room can only operate at 25-percent capacity, he said, which his staff has figured out will mean 15 kids at one time. “We can’t supply kids with water during workouts,” he said. “They have to bring their own. They can’t use the locker room or showers, which we don’t do during summer workouts anyway. They can’t share towels, and they have to have hand-washing stations and sanitizers available.”
Koetting said the workouts are not mandatory. “If a kid’s parent doesn’t feel good about it, there will be ways of working out on their own.”
He also said that his staff plans to assign each player to a workout group, as has been recommended by the UIL. That is a precautionary measure in case somebody does get sick.
“We’ll probably have a bunch of different groups, working out at different time slots,” Koetting said. “For example, we will probably have one at 5 am for the guys who work, and then stagger it out throughout the day. A coach will always in there with them, both in the weight room and on the field.”
In addition, social distancing will still be required. If a player is not working out, he must maintain a 6-foot distance from other players. If the players are involved in active movements, they must maintain a distance of 10 feet from other players.
Koetting said he has ordered face covers for every player, as required, and they will be wiping down the weight room bars and benches after every athlete lifts.
“There is no one-on-one,” Koetting explained. “You can do drills and things, but you can’t do competitive drills against another person, where they are in contact with each other.”
Koetting said he believes that those restrictions will loosen up gradually through the summer. “It is a real fluid situation,” he said, adding that is important to all members of the High School Coaches’ Association and the UIL that the rules be followed. “We don’t want to just be able to do summer workouts. We want to play in the fall. We’ve got to do it right, so we can start when we need to.”
The information provided and dates are subject to change based on COVID-19-related information. The UIL will continue to work with state officials, and monitor CDC and other federal guidance to determine any potential modifications to these guidelines.
“We are cautiously optimistic about beginning summer strength and conditioning programs and marching band practices that safely allow students to get back to working with their coaches and directors in preparation for the 2020-21 school year,” said UIL Executive Director Dr. Charles Breithaupt. “While we are eager to resume UIL activities, we must do so carefully, deliberately, and with an understanding that major adjustments are needed to ensure safety. The requirements outline an approach designed to help schools mitigate risk while ensuring students are physically prepared to return to activities in the fall, should state and federal guidelines allow.”