06-25-2020 Tri-city Area Sports

NEXT… Like a line at the local grocery store, were numerous kayakers waiting for their turn to launch over the weekend in Watervliet at the county park on the Paw Paw River. High heat and humidity made this river even more attractive than usual. (Contributed photo)

Coloma Press Box By Dave Vollrath

Coloma Comet athletes back on the fields; state issues guidelines

There has probably never been a time in the history of this great country when one school year has come to a close one week and so many students, school staff, and even the parents have been immediately ready for the next school year to begin. Whether or not the K-12 schools in Michigan open on time later this summer is still being discussed by a panel of educational, government, and state health officials.

If they open, how many changes will take place at the direction of this panel, whose main objective at this point would certainly be the health and safety of the students? All of this is still anyone’s guess. In speaking with people around the area the last couple of weeks, most folks are confident that the 2020-21 school year will be happening. And of course along with that would be our Comet high school sports which are badly needed by our young people as part of their process in growing into adults.

A little more than a week ago the Michigan High School Athletic Association, the governing body over Michigan high school sports, announced to the schools that they once again could begin allowing the coaches to hold summer team conditioning drills at the schools but could do so outdoors only, and under specific guidelines. By now most people know the COVID-19 routine you must take part in before being allowed into many area businesses. Many of those same requirements will be necessary for the Coloma athletes to participate in each day’s work outs.

Comet Athletic Director Wendy Goodline mailed out to each family, who have students in the Coloma high school, a letter stipulating these requirements which affect every athlete, and also a list of rules for each specific sport. Some of the rules that must take place each day before participating for all athletes are as follows. They will have to satisfactorily answer four health related questions and have their temperature taken.

At the present time the governor is not allowing any students inside the school buildings at any time for any reason. Students are asked to bring their own water bottle, and along with their clothing, shoes, and towels, are asked not to share their personal items with any other athlete. Students should go home right after practice and shower or bathe immediately. When outside, face masks are optional. Sanitizer should be made available, and used by the coaches to clean equipment during activity, frequently, and afterward. Social distancing will take place, with 6-foot spacing, at all times during workouts. If there is a COVID-19 exposure, the sport and participants will not be allowed to participate for a minimum of 14 days.

Additional rules by sport

Football: Each player must keep a social distancing space from all other players and coaches. Common equipment such as the balls must be cleaned frequently and as needed during the workout. No contact what so ever among the players or with the players and equipment including sleds, dummies, or shields. No safety equipment should be worn except helmets at the present time.

Cross-country/ Track and Field: Runners should keep a 6-foot spacing between themselves and all other runners, with no grouping up, such as at the start or the finish.

Volleyball: There must be a 6-foot spacing between all players during any of the drills. The balls and other common equipment must be cleaned as needed during the session. All activity must take place outdoors.

Soccer: There should be no physical contact among the players and all drills should be designed to avoid player contact, and once again the soccer balls should be cleaned and disinfected frequently.

Sideline Cheer: No physical contact; chants and jumps only, with social distancing necessary.

Basketball: All activity presently has to take place outdoors, and all drills and conditioning runs should be done with proper spacing. All basketballs should be cleaned and wiped frequently, and as needed.