EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) -Starting Monday, June 15, fall sports teams across the state of Kentucky were able to take the field in preparation for the upcoming fall season.
“When it first came down - quarantine, the lockdown - I was worried about it,” said Apollo Head Football Coach, John Edge. “I was worried a lot that we wouldn’t have a season.”
At Apollo High School the Eagles officially returned to the field this week.
“There’s nothing like being around your players - Zoom meetings aren’t very helpful or texting and talking to the kids that way,” said Edge. “The relationships are out here. When they see a smile on your face and you see a smile on their face - it’s a lot more mental than it is physical.”
On May 28, the KHSAA adopted guidelines for the safe, phased return of high school athletics across the Commonwealth.
“The Daviess Co. schools did a great job,” said Edge. “As soon as they found out, they met and got their guidelines from the KHSAA. They knew the importance of getting the kids out here and getting them out of the house.”
But getting out of the house doesn’t come without restrictions in place.
“When they come in, we issue them out in different groups and they have to get their temperatures checked through those groups," said Edge. “When we start practice, we stretch in those groups - 6 feet apart. One coach to every nine players, Coaches wear masks. It’s fun, we’re just glad to be out here.”
The restrictions not only for the players and coaches out on the field - but for the loved ones they return home to.
“I’m nervous because my stepmom has a countered immune system,” said senior running back, Harold Patterson II. “I try to take precautions on my own to prevent her from getting sick. It’s weird but it’s good under the circumstances because you don’t want anybody to get sick, so we have to respect that of each other and try to keep the best prevention.”
“You got to go through those restrictions, got to go through those guidelines,” said Edge. “If something happens, god forbid. But we’ve done the proper steps, we’ve done the right thing and so we can look back and say we did everything we could and that’s what you’re supposed to do as a Coach and as an Administrator as well.”
Precautions put in place so that players in Kentucky can once again step out under those Friday night lights this fall.
“Normalcy - I wish was happening right now,” said Edge. “Right now, the ‘normal’ is doing these check-ins, I think we’ll have to do check-ins during the year. But whatever guidelines we get from the KHSAA and our school board, that’s what we’re going to do.”
The KHSAA has yet to make a decision on when fall sports - like football - can begin to make contact on the field and with equipment. That decision is expected to be announced in a matter of weeks.