Taking health and safety precautions is more important than ever before. Just as athletes began to hit the practice fields, some school districts around South Texas felt that summer strength and conditioning workouts were just going to have to wait.
"We shut everything down, just as a precautionary measure. We didn't have a single kid come through our strength and conditioning program test positive," said Coach Kyle Atwood, Alice Coyote Athletic Director. "The superintendent and I felt that we needed to take precautionary measures with the influx of (COVID-19) cases in Jim Wells County."
As of Monday, JWC hit 218 reported cases of coronavirus (COVID-19). According to Texas A&M University Corpus Christi, there are 149 active cases and 69 recovered cases.
Precautionary measures for Alice High School were in place for summer strength and conditioning workouts as athletes began to train on the field. The strength and conditioning workouts were pre-workouts as the school year and sports are set to open soon.
"We went through a symptoms check daily. We did a temperature check. Kids had to bring their own waters, and we did not share towels or anything of that nature," Coach Atwood said. "We had gone from March 17th to June 8th not seeing our kids, and so our kids were equally as excited as our coaching staff to get back out there and go to work. The day we shut it down, we had 20 kids, spaced out in six different groups. That was just high school kids."
Playing sports isn't just a hobby, it's a passion for Coach Atwood and his staff, but he knew he had to protect his athletes from the COVID-19 and canceled workouts. Even with the shut down of workouts, Coach Atwood is optimistic for the new season.
"There's not a place that supports football more than Alice in the State of Texas...," he said. "We are jumping into 4A division 1. I think that’ll give us an opportunity to play longer in the playoff. Obviously, out of the seven teams in our district, six of those teams came down with us. So the competition isn’t going to change at all. Our goal is to be disciplined, to show up everyday, practice with a good positive attitudes, to love one another, give a great effort and everything else will take care of itself...We are going to have the opportunity to have a lengthy playoff run. We continue to do those things that we put in place in the 2019 season."
This will be Coach Atwood's fourth season with Alice ISD.