WHEATLAND, Calif. (KTXL) — In yet another sign of progress during the COVID-19 pandemic, spring football practice began Friday at Wheatland High School.
The Pirates are believed to be the first team in the state to hold spring workouts.
“It’s very different. Before the virus, it was, ‘Show up and let’s get started,’” said head coach Larry Hulen. “And now we have protocols and we’re following the county’s guidelines.”
And that includes temperature screenings before the student athletes are allowed in the facility.
“It’s more of a workout than a practice because we’re still not allowed to use any equipment,” said Hulen.
Wheatland received clearance to begin holding the spring workouts last week from its administration and the county health department.
Only small groups of the same players are going to be able to rotate through a number of drills at the practices due to guidelines.
“We want kids out here to engage, be involved, enjoy being a student-athlete and it’s about their social-emotional health and getting them back, connected with their peers in a safe way,” said principal Cy Olsen.
The hope is that things won’t have to be like this for much longer.
“It’s certainly different. I mean, it’s weird not being able to get close to your friends and like high-fiving each other, like ‘good work’ and stuff,” said senior football player Manny Galven. “We’re just making the best of what we’ve got and it’s just nice to be out here.”
Pirate football hopes to begin a brand new era in August complete with a state-of-the-art facility, new press box, new grandstands and a brand new playing surface.
“I mean eventually we’ll get back to normal and it’s good enough for me right now,” said Galven.