GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA)–Conditioning for fall sports in Greenville County is getting the go ahead. But as far as the season ahead, it’s still a toss up.
Games on the gridiron will likely look a bit different this year.
“It’s really critical for us to get this right,” Darryl Nance, director of athletics, said.
Nance has been working tirelessly to get fall sports up and running safely amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“We’re in phase 1.5 which allows a little greater number in fall sports a number of 16 total of 16 in a group,” Nance said.
With 3,000 fall athletes and hundreds of coaches district wide, Nance said they’re taking all precautions seriously.
“People say return to normal, return to normal, this is going to be anything but normal,” Nance said.
Parents like Martha Durham are pleased with the effort.
“I think we need to be safe and I think we will be able to be. I want them to give it a shot and try rather than just say we can’t do it,” Durham said.
She has a son who plays several sports, and said the uncertainty around the coming season has taken a toll on his mental health.
“He started having incredible anxiety, and he’s a really skilled athlete,” Durham said.
She said she’s willing to take on the risk that comes with putting her son back out on the field.
“My son’s love for athletics kind of outweighs the risk for me. He loves it he’s passionate about it. We all take that risk together,” Durham said.
Nance said it’s something the district wants too, but in the right way.
“We don’t need to return to normal. We need to return to special. School is special. Kids need teachers, teachers need kids. Coaches need athletes, athletes need coaches,” Nance said.
Athletes will be asked not to use the locker rooms and arrive dressed to practice, among other precautions. And even though conditioning is moving forward other aspects of the sporting season are still unknown.
“Still lots of questions involved with spectators, concession stands, travel,” Nance said.
Above all, his top priority is the wellbeing of student athletes.
“We’ve got to make sure we give them the greatest opportunity for a successful experience,” Nance said.
Even with all of these precautions in place, play could still be cancelled mid season if there is a spike in cases. Nance is urging all schools to have walk throughs for athletes and parents on Thursday and Friday so they are well aware of the safety precautions for conditioning.