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Beaufort County coaches encourage players to stay in shape

Every day brings new developments regarding the COVID-19 virus; last week, one of those was the suspension of the high school spring sports season per the North Carolina High School Athletic Association.

Now, many coaches are telling their players to stay in shape and fine-tune their skills during the three-week long postponement of the season.

While everything is on hold, uncertainty remains about whether or not the season will continue past April 6, which is the goal date for spring sports to make a return.

Head coach of Southside’s girls soccer team Jay Petty told his players to keep kicking the ball around.

“First thing I told them was to stay safe and take care of family. Second, if they have down time, get out and kick the ball around. A brick wall can make for a great partner if you’re by yourself,” Petty said. “I have also shared with them some game film to watch of the U.S. Women’s National Team if they can and, of course, keep their cardio up the best they can.”

Team practices, team dinners, team bonding and facilities are all prohibited for the time being, and the only way to remain active in a sport is to do so solo or with a teammate, as long as coaches aren’t present.

Washington’s softball coach Doug Whitehead told his team not to let the downtime be wasted.
“I told them to keep working on their own — don’t let the downtime be wasted, and I hope I get to see them again soon,” Whitehead said.

Last Friday, Northside High School’s baseball was scheduled to play Ayden-Grifton. When the Chargers cancelled, head coach Keith Boyd scrambled to find a replacement, bringing in Riverside’s JV team and Perquimans’ varsity for what could’ve possibly been the last game of the season.

“We kind of got bailed out. When Ayden-Grifton cancelled, it left some of the seniors holding their bags wondering, ‘Will we ever play again?’” Boyd said. “I hope it’s not the end of the season, but we can’t really do anything about it. I just hope we can continue to play at a high level when we get back to it.”

While coaches encourage their teams to stay active, the CDC encourages everyone to clean hands often with soap and water, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, avoid close contact with people who are sick, take part in social distancing, cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or the inside of your elbow, and clean or disinfect frequently touched surfaces on a daily basis. That goes for sports equipment, as well.