By Irini Orihuela
The start of spring sports for 1,292 high schools in Illinois has been delayed again, after Governor Pritzker’s order pushed reopening date to May 1 due to the spread of the coronavirus epidemic in the state.
Coaches in more than 25 different high schools in Lake County are sitting at home, waiting for this pandemic to end while trying to help their athletes be ready by having spreadsheets of at home workouts.
“We were about three or four weeks into our season,” Andy Farrisey, head coach of boys track and field at Stevenson High School, said. “On our [track] webpage posted workouts for them, typical to what we do. So it’s stuff that they should know. We’ve also got like a slideshow presentation on there for nutrition and recovery.”
Some things, like hurdles, aren’t easy to train for at home. Farrisey has recommended that the team looks at YouTube videos to help guide them, or the Instagram page that is currently being put together by the coaches.
“I’ve been sending gymnasts daily workouts to complete,” Joe Rogalski, Head Boys Gymnastics Coach, said. “Workouts consist of about thirty minutes of gymnastics based training, such as sets of pushups. My favorite workout is a “Murph” borrowed from Crossfit, which is a mile run, sets of pullups/pushups/squats, followed by another mile run.”
The boys of the gymnastics team are also getting any updates about the situation from their coaches. Rogalski is going to go to the boys house to deliver their warm-up gear, of course while following social distancing guidelines. He wants the boys to know their coaches are still thinking of them, and give them some reminder of normalcy.
“I have a Google Classroom that’s setup with practice options for the off-season and workouts as well,” Sarah Gutierrez, head coach of girls lacrosse, said. “I’m taking the approach of telling them, ‘when we come back you have to pass a running test to play, if you don’t and we come back, you sit,’ and leaving that as their motivation.”
Daily snippets of motivation are sent out through the program Remind. Those tend to consist of YouTube clips, quotes, or words of encouragement.
The Illinois High School Association (IHSA), is the program that regulates most sports between high schools in Illinois, has an entire section on their webpage dedicated to answering questions on COVID-19. IHSA updated their website on April 1, 2020.
The statement about spring sports resuming May 1, goes as follows: May 1 is the target date, however, there are state governmental, educational and health bodies that will need to approve this action as we get closer to it. It is too early to say definitively that IHSA activities will resume on May 1. Coaches will ultimately need to work in conjunction with their local school administration, as some school districts may choose to be more restrictive in their decisions to return teams to practice or games.