Lake Area football coaches address COVID-19 concerns during summer workouts

Lake Area football coaches address COVID-19 during summer workouts

LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - The LHSAA announced back in May that summer workouts could begin June 8th for schools. But fast forward almost a month later and things haven’t been as smooth as everyone had originally hoped.

The biggest question that is weighing on everyone’s mind is ‘will football season return at all?’ While we still don’t know that answer, we do know that here in Southwest Louisiana, COVID-19 has taken a toll on our coverage teams.

“We had one test positive,” Sulphur head football coach, Chris Towery said. “He went home after a workout and told us he wasn’t feeling well. he went and got tested and the test came back positive. So, we made the decision to shut down his workout group. But then this week we just decided, because we have a few others testing, to shut down so it doesn’t go throughout our program.”

“I can say that we have been affected by the virus. But we’ve taken the last two weeks off, last week and this week,” said East Beauregard’s head football coach Ronnie Simmons.” We plan on being back next week. But we’re learning as we go as everyone is. This is definitely a new process for everybody.”

In addition to Sulphur and East Beauregard, Kinder, St. Louis, Iowa, Jennings, and Oberlin all have confirmed to KPLC they’ve had players contract the virus at some point. However, most teams, whether they had a positive case or not, are taking advantage of technology just to play it safe.

“We sent all the kids, last week when we shut down, we sent them workouts. They have our workout program on their phones. So, if they have weights, they can do the workouts at home,” Kinder’s head football coach Bret Fuselier said.

“My players and I have been having zoom meetings,” Grand Lake head football coach Jeff Wainwright said. “We cover the content of what we do and our playbook. Offensively and defensively. We had different days and personnel groups of kids having the meetings. So, I feel like when we do get on the field the kids are going to be really prepared as far as understanding what we do.”

On the flip side, some of our teams remain lucky.

“We’ve had a handful of parents that have contacted me saying they think they were in contact with someone who had the virus, so they kept their kids home to be tested. But when they got the tests back, they were fine. So, we’ve been pretty fortunate so far,” said Westlake head football coach John Richardson.

“We have not had one kid at Hamilton with a case. Praise God,” Hamilton Christian head coach Dexter Washington said.

Moving forward, schools plan to continue being cautious.

“One thing that we make sure is that we keep our kids six feet away from each other. We sanitize everything. We have a disinfectant spray that when they finish a rep or set in the weight room, we wipe it down before the next person,” LaGrange’s head football coach Marrico Wilson said.

Despite the uncertainty around the upcoming football season, all of our coverage teams are doing what they can to remain ready.

“Obviously, were preparing for a regular season. You have to because if you don’t, we won’t be ready. I’m cautiously optimistic that is what we are going to do. But, there are plans in place if we don’t have a season too. We don’t need to get too far ahead of ourselves. Prepare, but don’t jump the gun. I think that is the attitude we’re taking. Be flexible and prepare for the best,” South Beauregard’s head football coach Dwight Hudler said.

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