Let’s start with the really big positive.
It’s looking more and more likely that there will be high school sports this fall.
With some summer teams getting back to tournaments, and news coming out about sports, it appears that games this fall should happen.
In Pennsylvania, the governor talked this week about sports, and schools can begin to return to practice. The original July 1 date to start practices now can be sooner.
However, that doesn’t mean they can start right up tomorrow.
School’s still have plans they have to put in place. There are decisions to be made.
For some schools, it will still be July 1 before they begin to practices. For other schools it could be later than that.
All of that is going to have an impact on the fall.
There is just no way it won’t impact things.
CV football coach Michael Schmitt talked about the challenges of getting more kids out for the sport with school not finishing up this spring.
“We had some momentum with kids being interested in playing and with our workouts,” he said. “This has shut that all down.”
One of the biggest concerns for all coaches will be what shape the kids are in when they return, and keeping them healthy.
“We haven’t been lifting, but we tried to send out workouts kids can do at home,” Schmitt said. “The big issue is with the kids power and speed development. It is the first to go and hardest to work on. Also, injury prevention training is taking a huge hit.”
Sayre football coach Kevin Gorman knows that all this time right now normally would be used to get kids ready for next season.
“This impacts us in a lot of ways,” Gorman said. “We were having great turn outs in the weight room and some of our guys were going to local gyms so we are missing out on guys getting bigger and stronger. We are also missing out on coaching our guys in the weight room.
“We have 8th graders moving up and they get introduced to the JV/Varsity coaches a lot better then before. We are also missing out on our field days where we get players around and go over offense and defense and help them get a better grip on things. The last thing is 7 on 7 we get good reps in and players who haven’t played get needed reps on both sides on the ball. The coaching staff feels like we are behind from where we usually are by now and we will have to catch up on reps when we can get back together.”
While this time away can be tough, some coaches uses technology to keep in touch with their athletes, and they know a lot of kids will do the work on their own.
“We give the girls a summer packet to work out with so they come in with a good fitness and soccer base for the season,” Athens coach Rich Pitts said. “We have always allowed them to train on their own, enjoy the summer and do very little ‘open fields.’
“We have 6 freshman coming in this season who we have been in contact with and welcomed to the family through our social media platform. This allows them to get an early feel of acceptance since we couldn’t have a meeting at the end of the year.”
While Pennsylvania is starting to get some ideas on when practice can start, it’s different in New York.
“New York is still very uncertain,” Waverly football coach Jason Miller said. “Our kids have been doing a little on their own, but we are typically very involved with our preparation by now. Hopefully by the end of June we are allowed to practice.”
The uncertainty of the past few months has left teams behind as they prepare for next school year.
Athletes will have to work double-time to get into game shape.
New players will have to study double-time to get up to speed with the team.
And coaches will have to work double-time to try and recruit more players out for the teams.
All of that could lead to some upsets, and crazy results in the fall. It could also benefit the more experienced teams in the area.
Teams loaded with veterans, and good leaders, will have a better idea of the work they have to do at home to get ready for the season.
Teams that used technology to their advantage may have kids more prepared for the start of the season.
Even when things do start in the fall, there could be a lot of differences, and not just on the field.
Will fans be allowed in the stands? If they are, how many?
What does that do for homefield advantage? How will the athletes perform without the crowds getting behind them and cheering them on?
With each passing day it looks more and more likely we will have sports this fall.
But, the question remains. What will fall sports look like in 2020?
Brian Fees is the sports editor at The Daily & Sunday Review. Reach by e-mail at email@example.com