LITTLE ROCK, Ark.- Monday marked the first day that Arkansas high schools were allowed to hold no-contact practice with helmets for fall sports, with strict guidelines.
Parkview High School’s football team has not been able to practice together as a team since the pandemic put everything on hold.
“It’s been a while,” says three-star quarterback and Senior Arkansas commit Landon Rogers. “It’s great to be back, I tell you.”
“We’re just following the guidelines that the governor and the health department have issued to us,” says Parkview High School head football coach Brad Bolding.
There are temperature checks, face masks and social distancing in the weight room, and constant sanitizing.
It’s a lot of extra steps for Bolding and his team.
“Oh, they gotta stop you,” Rogers says. “Wait. You get a big old ‘Wait’, put the gun to your head, and gives you the temperature. If you’re over a certain amount, you can’t even walk through the front door.”
Rogers says he gets advice from his future Razorback coaches daily.
“Just stay masked up, have hand sanitizer,” says Rogers. “Just wash your hands. Just keep clean, basically, and be aware of who you hang out with, how many people you hang out with.”
We asked Bolding if parents seemed really concerned or if any parents weren’t letting their kids come out to this first team practice. He said no because they had conditionings all summer up to this point and the parents are able to see how diligent they’ve been with sanitizing, face masks, temperature checks and other safety measures.
We also asked the head coach on whether there was a point he thought there would be no season.
“Still am,” said Bolding. “Still am worried. This, we’re in kind of uncharted territory, so we don’t really know. But it only takes a few outbreaks and your entire team.”
None of his players have tested positive for COVID-19.
If one player gets it, it’s almost inevitable that multiple players could be out sick or quarantined.
This week is no contact, no tackling.
Teams will likely move to contact practice next week, if given the greenlight by the governor.