Not so fast! Valley schools taking it slow as OHSAA non-contact period is lifted


Sports Team 27 reached out to several schools and found out that many are not practicing right away after the OHSAA lifted its non-contact period

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – High school athletes are finally allowed to hit the field Tuesday with the OHSAA non-contact period lifted, but many schools did not rush things. Instead, they’re opting to continue virtual training before taking the next step.

“This week is not a major week that we have to start this week,” says Mineral Ridge Athletic Director Tim Porter. “It is a holiday week to begin with, really what are you gaining Tuesday through Friday anyway?”

“No one wants to jump headfirst into this without really looking at all the precautions and having all of the safety protocals in line,” said McDonald head football coach Dan Williams. 

Phase one of the three-phase process will certainly look very different than normal: a limited amount of players per session, with a lot more responsibilities on the coaches.

“We are going to become custodians, nurses, doctors, coaches, because you have to take all precautions,” Williams says.

“Football for example, they are bringing in eight kids, two coaches, so 10 people,” said Porter. “Those 10 kids will have their temperatures taken, we will document every single kid that comes into that pod. They will leave, we will clean that facility again, 30 minutes later, another pod will come in, and then we will do the same thing all over again.”

Williams said the planning has been the easy part, but getting the supplies has been much harder.

“A lot of the things that you need,” Williams said. “That we need to kick this off is hard to come by. Hand sanitizer, sanitizer dispensers, a simple digital thermometer, those are hard to come by these days, so the first thing is going to be getting all the materials needed.”

And when you get back to training, don’t forget to bring your own water.

“No water fountains can be used,” said Williams. “No water troughs, those big jugs where they have those squirters, those can not be used. So every kid needs to bring their own water jug, make sure they have plenty of water. One bottle isn’t going to cut it, they can’t share those things. The little things we have taken for granted for years, you are really going to have to sit and think and plan and make sure you are ready.”

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