Coaches say re-start a step toward giving kids their life back

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Thursday’s meeting of the Kentucky High School Athletics Association board was a first step to bringing back high school sports, providing new insights for coaches, especially football coaches, many of whom were watching online.

While it may only be a start, Thursday’s news brought plenty of excitement for programs around the state. (Read related story)

In a game sometimes defined by inches, it’s only fitting that during a pandemic, high school football is inching its way back.

“I’m encouraged. I think it’s a good start. Obviously all of us want to get football started on time. We want to have a season, but we have to do it the right way,” said Pulaski High football coach John Hines.

For Hines and other coaches, the right way starts June 15. That’s when players can begin workouts in groups of 10 in front of a coach. What type of workouts still is being determined by each program.

And they must follow KHSAA guidelines.

Lexington Catholic head coach Nigel Smith expects some of his guys will show up in decent football shape. But he says plenty of others will need this time after a three-month layoff.

“Getting as conditioned as possible, as a group, is probably part of the biggest challenge; being able to recognize where you are as a full team and then getting to that spot, before coming close to talking about preparation, practices for games or things like that,” Smith observed.

Despite the challenges and the unknown of when football will return, the belief among the KHSAA and coaches is that Thursday’s decision is a huge win towards bringing normalcy to the athletes.

“Growing up in Southern Kentucky, as a high school kid, your whole life is school and ball. I mean that’s life. Their life’s been taken away since March 16. Everything that’s their daily activity, that’s important to them has been taken away. We’ve got to get back to giving them their life back,” Hines concluded.

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