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High schools begin summer workout program with safety measures in place

March 17 the AHSAA canceled the remainder of the season because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The future of high school athletics remained in limbo until an announcement came in late May that schools could start summer workouts June 8 – and a week later, the AHSAA changed the date to June 1. 

Hartselle football was the first team to begin workouts, as the Tigers started at 6 a.m. June 1. The practices are a lot different, however, than they were the last time they were together as a team. 

First-year Hartselle head football coach Bryan Moore said his players have worked extremely hard, despite the setbacks brought about by the coronavirus. 

“We have check-in stations at multiple doors and have worked to maintain social distancing between players,” said Moore. “We are not allowing them to sit in the locker room or any small areas together. Most everything we have done has been outside, and we have cleaned all areas of the facility once we have finished each workout.” 

Hartselle’s head basketball coach Faron Key said it feels good to be back, even if it isn’t quite like what they are accustomed to. 

“Our first week was terrific,” said Key. “I am excited about being back in the gym and continuing to get better throughout the summer.” 

Brewer head coach Geoff Walters said he and his coaching staff were excited to get back to work with the team. 

“Being able to be back in the weight room and on the field even with these restrictions is better than not being able to all,” said Walters. 

Most school programs got started back the first week of June, while the girls’ basketball teams at Brewer, Danville, and Priceville began June 8. 

Danville boys’ basketball head coach Scott Ellis said the coaches have enjoyed being able to see and work with their players. 

“We have a lot of safety protocols that we are following,” said Ellis. “We are keeping players separated at least 6 feet between themselves, wearing masks when needed and frequently sanitizing stations and equipment. Things are different, but the kids and the coaches are so glad to be able to get back to work and have face-to-face interactions.” 

“It means a lot to the coaching staff and me to be able to work with the team,” added Moore. “I didn’t realize just how much I have missed being out there with them.”