by Greg Higgins
(Photo by Patrick Watkins) Normally full of students everyday, high school weight rooms are empty these days
It’s been over a month since the UIL shut down spring sports in Texas. Not only did schools get shut down, but so did facilities. Teams can’t workout together. Until last Friday, spring sports didn’t know if they would be coming back or not.
Right about now, baseball and softball would be in the playoffs or getting ready for them. Spring football would be going on. Basketball offseason would be in full swing. All of this is a normal April day in Texas. This, however, is anything but normal.
Teams are now having to figure out ways to keep their students in shape. Workouts are being conducted in unusual ways.
“First of all let me express Prairiland coaches miss our student-athletes badly,” Prairiland athletic director Steven Weddle said. “We have a plan in place to keep our students safe at home, but actually continue to improve.”
A lot of the local schools are utilizing social media to convey workouts to their athletes. Coach Weddle noted that Prairiland coaches have posted workouts on Facebook and Instagram for their students.
“We’re posting daily at home workouts that can be modified based on the exercise equipment or lack there of at home,” Rivercrest AD Lance Connot said. “Also, we are posting daily clips or motivational comments to encourage athletes to stay active and inspire them with highlights from past season.”
Darren Pevey, AD at Chisum, praises the school district and administration during these unprecedented times, saying they’ve handled things “like a champion”.
“Our coaches are using text messaging to stay in touch and check on the well-being of our kids,” he went on to say.
Until UIL’s announcement, other coaches had to make sure their athletes were staying in game shape. With no timetable for a possible return, softball and baseball still had the potential of playing their season.
Paris High head softball coach Bailey Nelson said he was encouraging his team to throw and hit on a regular basis. He was also encouraging body weight exercise for staying in shape.
Across town, North Lamar softball coach Ashley Endlsey said she was communicating with her team regularly.
“I have been texting and calling to see how they’re doing on their grades and workouts,” Endsley said. “Talking to just catch up. Also to be sure they are doing ok.”
Endsley said the team is doing everyday fundamentals as well as hitting drills they do daily. Strength and conditioning coach Patrick Watkins helped put together a training program on Instagram for them to follow.
Detroit boys basketball coach Da’on Savage said his main concern is that his kids are staying safe and well and staying on top of their schoolwork. He says he sends them quotes and scriptures to help encourage them. He noted that he’s given them shooting and dribbling workouts in case they can get to a basketball goal. He also said he encourages them to go fishing and enjoy this time with family and friends but stay socially distant in the process.
These times are tough for everyone involved. Everyone is adjusting and trying to do the best with what they have. Who knows when we’ll see high school sports again.
“I sure miss being around our athletes and coaches,” coach Pevey said.
Perhaps we all can take a lesson from these coaches when it comes to people in our lives that are having to adjust to a new work routine or a new schedule.
“But possibly the most important thing we are doing is staying in contact encouraging our athletes during these unprecedented times,” Weddle said.