SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The South Dakota High School Activities Association released their Summer Contact Recommendations in late May.
The recommendation lists a three phased plan that allows athletes to get back into the weight room/gym to prepare for a potential fall sports season.
The first phase as recommended by the SDHSAA was to limit the number of people to 10 at a place at one time, including staff or coaches. The SDHSAA also advised that all athletes should be at least 6-feet apart.
Sioux Falls Washington High School began their summer workouts on June 15 as they entered phase one.
“We’re happy about the way things are going in our summer workouts,” Washington activities director Nate Malchow said. “We have been happy with our coaches, players and staff who have done everything we’ve asked to keep everyone safe.”
Nearly a month later, Washington has entered phase two of the Summer Contact Plan.
“Everything has gone great so far which is why we were able to move into phase two on July 13,” Malchow said. “We’re now able to have more kids in our groups, which allows more kids to work with the coach at a safe distance.”
The phase two recommendations from the SDHSAA allows outdoor workouts to increase from 10 people to 50, but it still keeps the indoor workouts to a 10-person limit.
Locker rooms are now allowed to be used, but social distancing must also be followed.
Washington can move into phase three, but they’ll have to wait to see another 14-day downward trend in local COVID-19 cases.
Phase three allows even more athletes to work with coaches as up to 50 people can workout or practice together for either outdoors or indoors.
Washington, much like every other school in the state has one goal in mind as they continue their summer workouts.
“Our number one priority during a summer is to provide a strength and conditioning program for our athletes,” Malchow said. “The goal is to help our athletes get in shape as they prepare for a fall sports season.”
Malchow says the athletic trainers have been great throughout this process as they have helped with the screening process.
Washington’s screening process consists of a series of questions.
Sioux Falls Washington isn’t the only school in the city who has had success with summer workouts.
Sioux Falls Roosevelt has also entered phase two as they have welcomed more athletes back to the campus to workout.
“I think it has gone really well so far and we’ve had some great participation from athletes,” Roosevelt athletic director Steve Moore said. “We have been able to increase our numbers of participants in July and I can tell the kids are getting in better shape.”
Not all of the sports are participating, but most of them are according to Moore.
The Rough Rider staff has been key to ensuring the safety and health of the athletes.
“We have a great staff here at Roosevelt and they responded really well to everything we’ve asked and more,” Moore said. “The coaches are doing their job to ensure that the athletes are able to grow and mature this summer.”
Roosevelt was one of many schools that used virtual workouts for their athletes in March, April and May, but in person workouts have been more efficient for the athletes.
“We did virtual workouts and those were good, but when they came back, we knew we needed to get them back into shape for the fall season, and that has gone really well to this point,” Moore said.
The summer contact period will conclude on August 3 as the schools will prepare for a 2020 fall sports season.
KELOLAND News spoke with the SDHSAA last Thursday about the 2020 fall sports season.
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