BREWER – Monday marked the first day Maine high schools could hold in-person outdoor workouts. While several schools decided against holding such workouts, some schools moved forward, including Brewer.
Around 25 football players took part in the team’s first conditioning workout Monday evening. Players were separated into three “pods” or groups of 10 players or less where they took part in socially distant drills led by coaches.
The workouts are part of phase one of a four phase return to sports plan put forth by the Maine Principal’s Association with recommendations from national and local health officials.
In order to participate, athletes must fill out a preparticipation form asking a series of questions, including but not limited to, if an athlete is experiencing symptoms or if an athlete has recently visited a COVID-19 hot spot. The form must be filled out before each session.
For the athletes, the form, face masks and distance are steps well worth taking after months of no activity.
“It’s refreshing you know,” Brewer football sophomore, Cam Hughes, said.
“Sitting in your room not being able to see your friends for a long time and talking about football and having football and finally being back and working out it feels amazing,” Hughes added.
Football is one of five Brewer sports taking part in phase one workouts, which take place between July 6-19. Brewer head athletic trainer, Ben Pushard, is one of nine Brewer administrators, staff and or faculty on the school’s COVID-19 athletic response team.
The group is responsible for overseeing and ensuring athletes and coaches are following guidelines put into place. Pushard says he’s thrilled to see kids back, but emphasized the importance of everyone sticking with the guidelines.
“If the student athlete is sick, as I said before no if ands or buts it’s you stay home until you feel better quarantine get checked that kind of deal,” Pushard said.
“There’s no ‘well I think I can push through’ this is serious this is not a common cold that you can play through,” he added.
Additional restrictions outlined in phase one include no sport specific equipment (helmets, balls, gloves, etc.), no shared water bottles, or use of indoor facilities.
According to the MPA plan, phase two is set to begin on July 20 and will permit groups of 10 or less to workout indoors.