Offseason summer workouts started this week for Lindsay High School football but some of the directions coaches gave Wednesday morning sounded a little different.
“Five yards apart,” LHS offensive coordinator, Marcus Alonzo, called out to his group of players. “Make sure you’re staying in your cone.”
Like many teams across the state, the Cardinals have started their summer workouts by following the CIF’s Return to Physical Activity/Training and their district’s own guidelines.
By doing so, Lindsay keeps groups to 10 players or less and uses small cones to mark where everyone can stand. Players also keep their water bottles spread out around their group workouts so they can remain socially-distanced during their water breaks.
LHS head coach Casey Higginbotham said he, the coaches and the players all had Zoom meetings so they’d understand the new rules and what was expected of them. So far, everything is going well.
“They’re following the rules and everything we’re supposed to be doing,” Higginbotham said. He added, “No problems at all. A kid here or there doesn’t bring a water but then they don’t practice, they sit out and watch.”
Because of COVID-19, one of the new rules for teams is that players must bring their own water bottles and they cannot share water, or food, with teammates.
Other new rules are that all coaches must wear masks, everyone must have their temperature checked and fill out a health questionnaire before they start practice.
The way the Cardinals handle the two latter parts is to separate their players into two sessions with juniors and seniors coming at 8 a.m. and sophomores and freshman at 10 a.m. so there’s no overlap.
When players arrive for their sessions, they line up to have their temperatures checked and fill out the questionnaire. After they’re cleared, they go to their designated workout groups located at the ends of each field at Frank Skadan Stadium and stand at cones that have been spaced out so they can continue social-distancing.
The first session draws around 30-35 players which Higginbotham said is normal for an offseason workout. The workouts work on conditioning and everyday drills (EDD) players would normally be doing.
“They come out here and they do speed training and conditioning for the first 40 minutes,” Higginbotham said. “Then the next 20 minutes is just your simple position drills like stance and get offs. Just what we would do every day at practice as an EDD drill. It’s no contact, it’s just working on your basics.”
Although the team is allowed to use the weight room, Higginbotham said they will stick to the outdoor workouts for now.
“We got clearance for the weight room but I’m going to see how this works out first,” Higginbotham said. “And I’m probably going to incorporate bodyweight push ups and stuff like that instead of having the 10 kids in the weight room right now.”
After practice is done -- the Cardinals have one-hour practices Monday-Thursday -- Higginbotham goes group by group to excuse the players. When one group reaches the parking lot, the next one can go.