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High school football coaches adapt summer workouts with new mask mandate

Wichita-area high school football coaches are changing their routines to accommodate new mask mandate.
Wichita-area high school football coaches are changing their routines to accommodate new mask mandate.(KWCH)
Published: Jul. 2, 2020 at 10:51 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) -

With Governor Kelly’s mask mandate going into effect Friday, area high school coaches say it’s not going to drastically affect them and that they will make sure their players and coaches do whatever they have to in order to ensure a fall sports season.

They say their routines have changed due to this mandate.

Wichita Heights head football coach, Dominick Dingle said, “Every decision that we’re making right now is keeping our kids as safe as possible so that we will be on schedule to have a fall, winter and spring sports season.”

Dingle says some of his players don’t have quick access to masks so he’s moved all workouts outdoors so they don’t have to wear them. Buhler’s head football coach Steve Warner is telling his players that wearing a mask is nothing if they can have their season.

Warner said, “The kids aren’t going to like it inside but they’re going to be ok. We have to wear masks in the weight room. Outside, they don’t have to wear the masks.”

Athletic director at Kapaun Mt. Carmel, John Cherne said they are prioritizing social distancing.

Cherne said, “Any activity that has minimal contact, they are exempt from wearing the face mask. So if we’re in the weight room and everything our athletes are not wearing face masks but the adults are.”

The Kansas State High School Activities Association just recently provided recommendations for coaches as they conduct summer workout programs in the midst of Governor Kelly’s new mask mandate.

KSHSAA executive director Bill Faflick said they doesn’t regulate summer activates but coaches do look to them for guidance.

“Wear masks now and to wear them whenever possible. When you are involved in those conditioning exercises that are physically demanding, take the mask off,” said Faflick.

Faflick said he doesn’t think masks are realistic for competition come fall sports season. But he does see increased sideline space and bench players wearing masks as suitable precautions.

Copyright 2020 KWCH. All rights reserved.

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