High school athletes find ‘new normal’ in return field

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The sporting world is debating how and when to safely get back in the game – and you can get back in the stands. Many of those same conversations are taking place right here in Southwest Florida.

High school athletes slowly returned to the games they love this week in an attempt to find a “new normal” on the field.

Work hard, play harder – that’s the motto Tyson Eveque is taking in this season. He says,  “We’ve just been waiting like we were eager to come back.”

But this year high schoolers came back to a new set of rules with summer practices held in three different stages.

Cypress Lake High School head football coach Ritchie Rode said, due to pandemic restrictions, “We have to stay outside and we’re limited to an hour — and really, it’s just re-acclimating the kids and staying socially distant.”

With weights, planks, and leg lifts Coach Rode says players will work individually for now.

“Were currently in phase 1 and we can have up to 20 people in a group so what we have is up to 18 kids and two coaches in each group and there’s no rotating. They’ll be together all summer,” he explained.

Senior Kyrie Savoy says it’s definitely a change, “When you first arrive, you’re in a line, they have to take your temperature. They ask you all kinds of questions.”

In Collier County, there’s a similar game plan. Players only practice outdoors for now. Safe for the day they call all take to the field together, once again.

Lee County hopes to begin the second phase in a few weeks that will involve 90 minutes of workouts and the opening of the weight room.

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