Local districts prepare for student-athletes


By Martin Graham - mgraham@recordherald.com



Ohio Governor Mike DeWine said Tuesday the state “fully intends” for schools to reopen this fall in an announcement coming almost exactly two months after he shut down schools for what turned out to be the remainder of the spring semester due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Local school districts have begun talking about how they plan to get students in the classroom in the fall, and have already made decisions concerning athletics.

MIAMI TRACE LOCAL SCHOOLS:

At Miami Trace, the Panther athletic programs will begin a phased-in restart on Monday, June 8 with fall sports being permitted to begin conditioning and skills development sessions. This will continue on Monday, June 15 where winter and spring sports will be permitted to begin workouts. In restarting the athletics programs, Miami Trace officials said they are committed to following the guidelines established by the Governor’s office and the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA).

As part of the protocols the district will be following to ensure the health and safety of student-athletes and the coaches working with them, the following procedures have been put into place for this year.

First, single entry/exit for all facilities, which include the weight room/gymnasium – athletic entrance at end of building, the football/soccer stadium – walk gate by football concession stand and the baseball/softball fields – baseball/softball concession stand. Next, daily temperature checks will be done before student-athletes may enter the facility as well as the Ohio Department of Health daily pre-screening prior to participation.

Additionally, Miami Trace said facilities will be disinfected and sanitized after each use with hand sanitizer being provided for use. The district also stated that student-athletes are required to bring their own water source and if a student-athlete does not bring their own drink, they will not be allowed to participate. Sharing of water bottles is not permissible.

Finally, student-athletes must come dressed for participation. No locker rooms will be made available and all personal items must be taken home daily. Student-athletes are also encouraged to bring a sweat towel and following the workout, the student-athlete is to leave the facility and campus with no hanging around for any reason.

“During Phase 1 of the restart plan, MTHS student-athletes are able to begin skills training and conditioning in groups of 10 or less,” Miami Trace posted recently to its social media account. “As we move through the re-start phases the number of participants will increase. If your son/daughter has not yet been contacted by their coach or is interested in participating in the sport for the first time, please contact the coaches. Coaches will have additional information as to how the restart looks for their programs.”

WASHINGTON COURT HOUSE CITY SCHOOLS:

According to WCHCS, Blue Lion Athletics began Phase I of restarting athletics on Monday.

“While Phase I comes with many limitations as prescribed by the Ohio High School Athletic Association, we are excited to once again work with our student-athletes in a safe and responsible way,” a release from WCHCS said.

Similar to other districts, there will be many additional procedures implemented in order to protect the welfare of those participating. These new processes also include single-entry and exit points to facilities, daily temperature testing and Ohio Department of Health symptoms pre-screens prior to participating, a rigorous cleaning program, and the addition of hand washing and sanitizing stations throughout campus, as well as many other safeguards. WCHCS also said that students must bring their own water source, as sharing of water bottles and water fountains are not permissible during Phase I.

Specific procedures will be communicated by the coaches as it pertains to their student-athletes as they begin skills training. Again similar to Miami Trace, WCHCS said that throughout Phase I, WHS student-athletes will be able to begin skills training in groups of 10 or less with up to two coaches at a time. Details on schedules and groupings will be communicated by the coaches. WCHCS also reminded students that per recent guidance from OHSAA, athletes must have a current physical and all registrations/ paperwork on file before they can participate. Please register any student-athlete at https://oh.8to18.com/WashingtonCity/.

“If your student has not yet been contacted by their coach, or is interested in the sport for the first time, please contact the program for more information,” according to WCHCS. “Washington Middle School (WMS) student-athletes will not begin skills training with their teams during Phase I. We encourage all of our WMS Blue Lions to keep fit and stay healthy during this time as we work to be able to include them soon. Per current restrictions from Governor DeWine, our facilities remain closed until June 30. While we understand the eagerness of everyone to begin their organization, we appreciate your understanding as we follow the orders of the state. Any additional questions may be directed to the WCHCS Athletic Department at 740-636-4221. We can’t wait to see you soon!”

Finally, WCHCS, Miami Trace and Fayette Christian School students in the middle and high schools can receive a free sports physical. Physicals will take place at Corporate Care, Suite 203, located in Medical Arts Building 1 at the Fayette County Memorial Hospital. Physicals will be given June 8 through June 30 and everyone is encouraged to call 740-333-5186 to schedule a physical.

The information in this article was provided by Miami Trace Local Schools and Washington Court House City Schools. Stay with the Record-Herald as more information becomes available about the phased reopening of county school districts.

Reach Martin Graham on Twitter @MartiTheNewsGuy.

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By Martin Graham

mgraham@recordherald.com