LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - “The region that we live in, we need sports," said McNeese head football trainer Hunter Martin. "We need football. Everyone wants it back as soon as possible. So that they can come to the games, if possible. So that they can watch it on TV. The atmosphere, the competitiveness. It’s needed.”
As they work to bring back sports, the planning process and first steps are crucial.
McNeese head football trainer Hunter Martin says the university is doing their best to make sure everything is up to par for the athletes who are participating in the voluntary workouts.
“We’ve had about 60 athletes that have come through for the voluntary period so far,” added Martin. “Half of those athletes are football. They are chomping at the bit. They are ready to get back into the facilities. They are yearning for some normalcy just like all of us. We’re just making sure we are doing it as safe as possible.”
To stay safe, you must have to have an effective plan put in place. Something McNeese seems to have down to a science.
“This virus doesn’t just attack a certain population, its everybody. We have to really make sure we are keeping tabs on everybody and everyone is staying healthy," said Martin. "Our protocol is to take their temperature when they walk into the door. Fogging with sanitizer the weight room, locker rooms, training room; everything they have available for them right now.”
The athletes are willing to do anything and everything they need to do. They're just happy to be back.
“They’ve been great. seeing them coming in the door saying 'Hey Hunter, where do I need to go, where do I need to stand," Hunter said of the athletes. "They want to make sure they are following the directions. I have to commend them. They’ve been doing a great job at following the protocols and doing everything they can. They understand the severity of this. They get it.”
Martin says although this is a challenging time, it's something to learn and grow from as well.
“A lot of these procedures, we might not ever turn away from them," admitted Martin. As far as cleaning and distancing ourselves as we walk throughout the building and facilities. The main thing is why haven’t we done any of this before to help our athletes stay safe and not get ill. The goal is to keep ourselves as athletic trainers, administrators, the coaches and most importantly the athletes well and able to perform to the best of their ability.”