Bears, Huskies navigating COVID-19 practice rules

Bears, Huskies navigating COVID-19 practice rules

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - Teams across the city of Evansville are having to adjust to a new normal of fall sports practices during the coronavirus pandemic.

That’s no different on the gridiron at both Central and North High Schools.

For Bears head coach Sean Coultis and his program, the emphasis is on safety as the team abides by the EVSC guidelines laid out back in June.

The 3-Phase plan is currently in Phase 1 until July 19 and includes non-contact drills, small groups for workouts and face masks for coaches.

“I don’t want to see their hearts broken and the thing, too, is they’ve had the entire off-season - they’ve invested so much,” Coultis said. “These kids have come a long way and they see the destination, they have goals they want to accomplish this year, so I want it for them.”

Teams are allowed two days of on-field workouts and four days of lifting in weight rooms, where equipment is sanitized frequently and everyone is required to wear a mask when not actively lifting.

“We’re being cautious in the weight room, we’re wiping stuff down, wearing masks when we’re not lifting,” Central senior Jacob Boberg said. “It’s not a given, it could change - it could still change any day, but we’re just trying to make the best of it.”

Over at the Huskies facilities, Joey Paridaen and his squad are returning to the field after getting creative during the off-season.

The North program used Zoom calls and video conferences to stay in touch with players.

“It’s been a change for sure, but we’ve been able to handle those things pretty well,” Paridaen said. “The biggest thing is to just be able to get out here and see the kids first-hand and get in the groove of what we’ve been doing in the past.”

The Huskies have also maintained safe distances at practice, wear masks when not working out and try to sanitize equipment as much as possible.

“We had to practice our hand-offs yesterday with no footballs and no running backs,” North junior QB Ethan Brawdy said. “But we’ve been able to throw to receivers some and we obviously have to sanitize the balls after every time we throw them. It’s just been difficult, but it’s gonna be okay.”

Phase 2 of the EVSC’s plan is set to begin on Monday, July 20 when teams will be allowed helmets and shoulder pads.

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