Onslow County School athletes back on the field for summer workouts

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JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – The Cardinals are back on the field for the first since the coronavirus pandemic began in March.

Jacksonville High School students and coaches returned to campus Monday for voluntary summer workouts. It’s one of two high schools in Onslow County participating in summer trainings this week, but practice is anything but routine.

“It’s not the normal athletic director-coach responsibility so it’s all knew and we’re all learning ​as we go,” said David Miller, co-athletic director at Onslow County Schools.

Onslow County Schools will be following the three-phase guidance provided by the North Carolina High School Athletics Association. The NCHSAA announced schools across the state to begin summer workouts June 15.

Onslow County Schools chose to wait until this week to allow students and parents to get situated before starting summer workouts. The next few days will provide coaches an idea for running practices during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It kind of gives us a way to practice a week of procedures, the policies,” said Miller.

Before every practice, Jacksonville HS football players and other athletes are required to have temperature checks and answer COVID-19 screening questions.

Part of state and local guidelines for reopening athletics include using different venues at a school to work out in smaller groups and limit the contact between players.

Other limitations include:

– Workout sessions are only to be conducted outside

– Groups will be limited to no more than 20 per athletic venue

– No use of equipment and locker rooms will not be open for use

– No body-to-body contact activities

– No sharing of towels or water bottles (each player must have their own)

Jacksonville and Southwest High Schools will host two 90-minute conditioning sessions per day, four times a week all while social distancing this week. Athletes will only be able to participate in one session a day.

If a student-athlete or coach tests positive for coronavirus, they and others who have been in contact with the individual will be required to quarantine for 14 days. Players and coaches will need to meet the following criteria to return working out:

– No fever for 72 hours without fever reducing medications

– Resolution of any respiratory symptoms

– At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared

– A note of clearance from a license medical provider

All workouts across the state will be on hold next week, for dead period. Voluntary summer workouts are anticipated to resume at all schools across the district July 6.

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