Sports teams given the green light to practice under strict health guidelines

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STARKVILLE, MISS. (WCBI) –  COVID-19 has put a pause on all sporting activities in recent months.

But just last week, Governor Tate Reeves announced that sports teams can get back on the fields starting today.

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The Mississippi Department of Health has laid out strict guidelines for teams.

Starkville Academy’s Head Football Coach Chase Nicholson said his players and staff were excited to be back on the field.

“Excitement from day one and you can tell that there’s an energy right now and that is so cool,” said coach Nicholson.

Coach Nicholson made sure players, coaches, and parents were aware of all health guidelines before they step on the field.

“The energy level is high because they’re excited,” said Nicholson. “The flow of the campus is awesome as we are getting into it and seeing the guidelines work. So well, we’ve been checking temperatures and asking questions you know, ‘have you been around someone that was sick? Have you had a fever?’ “You know all the standard questions and our guys are coming in like robots they are ready for it.”

With the excitement of sports coming back, Nick Callahan, athletic supervisor for Starkville Parks and Recreation, said safety would be the number one focus.

“We want to be able to do things safely and let people get out here and play,” said Callahan. “But we also don’t want put anybody at risk or danger that doesn’t have to be. So we want to make sure that we follow all regulations and guidelines that have been set forth by the governor and the CDC. And you know, get up and make sure that it’s safe for everyone to go out and play, but also make sure that the parents and stuff are comfortable with us getting out and doing those type things.”

Callahan said the transition to this new norm may take some time.

“You’re going to have to put forth a mental effort to keep up with it and have somebody there to keep up with the sanitation and make sure that people are following the rules you know because people could just forget not that they are meaning to. Just that they can forget that we are not in a normal circumstance so getting used to the new normal will be a challenge for anybody.”

Coach Nicholson said he hoped everything would be back to normal by the start of football season.

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