TC practice

File photo

Football players for Tri-County participate in practice prior to the 2019 season.

WOLCOTT — Tri-County high school student-athletes will begin conditioning and workouts July 6 for the upcoming fall sports season, in accordance with Indiana High School Athletic Association guidelines.

Indiana’s high school sports’ governing body released its return-to-school guidelines June 5 that includes a three-phase pathway for the return of athletics. The plan was developed in lockstep with Gov. Eric Holcomb and the Indiana Department of Education.

The first day of practice for girls’ golf is scheduled for July 31, with the first match set for Aug. 3; all other sports will conduct first practices on Aug. 3, with games beginning Aug. 15.

Phase I includes conditioning and will be July 6-19. Phase II will allow for contact drills, and Phase III (Aug. 15) is the first day competition against other schools may begin. All three phases will include COVID-19 restrictions, recommendations and precautions schools, coaches, spectators and athletes will follow.

Until the IHSAA’s announcement, Tri-County’s plans were up in the air.

“A couple weeks ago, many of us at the school corporation sat down and hashed out how we wanted things to look for Tri-County on July 6,” Jeff LeBeau, Tri-County’s athletic director, said. “The first two weeks will focus on condition and re-acclimation to the heat and other activities that the athletes were used to before.”

LeBeau said the number of athletes allowed to participate will be determined by how many coaches are available.

“The first group of students will be 9-12 and, as numbers begin to play out, we may look into adding the junior high athletes into the sessions as well,” he said.

The hour-long sessions will take place in the morning and the evening to accommodate coaches and student-athletes who have summer jobs. LeBeau added that conditioning will take place on the football field to allow for social distancing.

The school corporation plans to have more information about fall sports in the upcoming weeks.

All athletes will be screened prior to being allowed to participate in events. Students will be asked the standard COVID-19 questions that are asked when people visit a doctor or dentist office. The school will also record body temperatures and plans document and send home any athlete who may be of concern to the safety of others.

To read the COVID-19 Health and Safety Re-entry Guidance publication, visit https://bit.ly/3cQh05b.