The coronavirus has left a mark on schools and has changed the way things have to be done, even on the sports fields.

The days of grabbing the water hose for a cool drink during summer football workouts are gone — it’s BYOB, bring your own (water) bottle, even at Destin Middle School.

The coronavirus has left a mark on schools and has changed the way things have to be done, even on the sports fields.

Baseball and softball games were canceled in the spring as well as tennis and track, instead the students stayed home and were told to shelter in place and social distance.


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But now the school sports programs are trying to gain some traction and get back to some of kind of schedule.

The first being summer workouts for football players.

“We’re going to kickoff with some conditioning. Not sure what all this is going to look like,” said Ron Griffiths, athletic director at Destin Middle. “It doesn’t sound like we can do much in the weight room.”

He explained that kids can lift, but they can’t use a spotter, because the kids can’t touch the same bar at the same time.

But some form of conditioning will begin June 16.

Summer workouts will start at 9 a.m. and go until 11 a.m., according to Destin Middle School football coach Mark Hinterthan.

Hinterthan said each student should have their paperwork and physical completed prior to coming on Tuesday. The players are also asked to bring shorts, T-shirt, cleats and their personal water bottle.

“Every person will have to bring their own water bottle ... can’t use the water cow or hose,” Griffiths said, in accordance with CDC guidelines. “There will be a designated coach to refill their water bottle with ice and refill with water ... that way no kids come in contact with the same apparatus.”

But bringing your own water bottle is just one on a list of about 18 or more precautions coaches will be taking with the players.

Here is a checklist of sorts to make sure everybody remains safe during phase one of reopening.

— Take players and coaches temperature upon arriving.

— Players will need to complete a COVID-19 questionnaire to determine possible exposure to coronavirus, cough, fever, chills, shortness of breath, sore throat, muscle pain, new loss of taste or smell.

— They will control traffic paths - coming and going.

— No locker rooms or closed-in spaces.

— Only 10 people in a group, including the coaches.

— Small groups will not change, players will always be with the same group.

— Balls and equipment will not be exchanged, or touched, between players.

— No person to person contact.

— Stagger times and physical distance small groups.

— No large groups, starting or ending workouts.

— Constant cleaning and sanitizing of anything in contact with players.

— Making masks and gloves available.

— Educate players on COVID-19 and expectations.

— Promote hand washing before and after.

— No exchanging of cloth, or storing cloth, or sharing of anything.

— Weight room equipment cleaned and sanitized after each player’s use. However, players will not be in the weight room until phase two or maybe even phase three.

— Systematic, individual dismissal so that groups and contact doesn't take place.

— Hand sanitizer available everywhere.

“June is going to be conditioning,” Griffiths said.

Some of the other coaches, for basketball, volleyball, soccer and cross country, are waiting until July to begin there summer workouts. Hopefully by then, teams will be able to have more than 10 in a group, Griffiths said.

In the meantime, the football schedule for middle school in Okaloosa County has been set.

The first game is scheduled for Aug. 20 with playoffs beginning Oct. 15.

The seven teams included in the Okaloosa County conference this year are Destin, Bruner, Pryor, Meigs, Ruckel, Shoal River and Davidson. Each team will play six regular season games and have one open week.

“We’re just trying to get back on track,” Griffiths said.