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Coupeville HS/MS Athletic Director Willie Smith. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Three working as one.

The Athletic Directors at Whidbey Island’s high schools have united to guide their schools through spring sports practices as everyone deals with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Willie Smith (Coupeville), Jerrod Fleury (Oak Harbor), and Paul Lagerstadt (South Whidbey) have done so with the intention all Wolf, Wildcat, and Falcon athletes and coaches will work off the same directives.

The first practices were held while Island County was in Phase Two of Washington State Governor Jay Inslee’s Reopening Plan.

With the move to Phase Three a few days ago, things will continue to be opened up, as long as guidelines are met.

As they make plans, the trio of athletic directors have been working with guidance from the National Federation of High Schools, the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association, and the Island County Health Department.

With the county moving to Phase Three, practices, which had been limited to five individuals at one site, can now include 10 participants (athletes and coaches) in each indoor space, or 50 individuals outdoors.

If practicing outdoors, workouts must be conducted in “pods” comprised of no more than 20 athletes.

All participants are required to maintain a six-foot distance from each other at all times, and it is “highly recommended coaches and athletes wear cloth face coverings, if social distancing is not able to be maintained.”

Locker rooms and meeting rooms are not allowed to be used, there should be no shared athletic apparel or shared hydration, and all athletic equipment must be cleaned intermittently during practices.

The return to practices covers “lower risk” or “modified risk” sports which can be done with social distancing, done individually, or with no sharing of equipment, or the ability to clean equipment.

“Lower risk” sports are identified as individual running events, individual swimming, golf, sideline cheer, and cross country running.

“Modified risk” sports include basketball, volleyball, baseball, softball, soccer, tennis, and 7-on-7 football.

Weight training is also allowed, with a limit of 10 participants (coaches and athletes) allowed in the room at one time.

Social distancing must be maintained, with lifters separated (i.e. every other cage), while spotters must wear masks.

Weight equipment has to be wiped down thoroughly before and after each individual’s use of equipment and maximum lifts should be limited.

The AD’s plan includes vigorous attention to sanitization.

Prior to an individual or group entering a facility, touch points/hard surfaces within that facility must be wiped down and sanitized.

This includes things such as door handles, weight room equipment, and bathrooms.

Athletes are instructed to provide their own workout gear, encouraged to shower (at home) and wash their clothing after each workout, and must wash their hands for a minimum of 20 seconds with warm water and soap before participating in workouts.

To be able to practice, Coupeville athletes are required to provide a new note from their parent or guardian each day stating they have a normal temperature and are OK to practice.

Coaches will maintain files with these notes, and the responses to screening questions for each participant, in the case an athlete tests positive for COVID-19.

If an athlete or coach has positive symptoms, they will not be allowed to participate in workouts.

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