Circle July 14 on the calendar.
That’s the date the Janesville School District presents its recommendations and plans in front of the Janesville School Board for the 2020 fall high school sports season.
In the meantime, Janesville Craig and Janesville Parker hope to open up the schools for summer workout programs beginning on Monday. Those programs can include the five contact days that coaches are allowed in the offseason.
“There will certainly be restrictions enforced due to COVID-19, but yes, our athletes will be back and able to get workouts in,” Parker athletic director and football coach Clayton Kreger said. “All coaches and athletes will be required to wear masks when they enter the building and will also have their temperature taken.
“Groups will be podded with no more than 10 kids at a time and walls will be up to prevent too many assembled in one place. But we could have 10 in the weight room, 10 in the field house, 10 in the main gym and, say, 10 outside. It’s what is allowed in Rock County right now, and we’ll certainly follow those guidelines.”
According to the latest “Guidelines for Summer Activities” sent from the central office to school athletic directors and passed on to coaches, the facilities are for school sponsored programs only and cannot include any youth camps.
Facilities, common surfaces and equipment are to be sanitized before and after each use.
State high schools were able to resume summertime athletics programming and other activities starting Wednesday, because June 30 marked the official final day of the 2019-20 school year.
The WIAA released guidelines and recommendations for Wisconsin high schools to follow, and the decision whether or not athletics and other activities may occur for a school is made by each school’s district administrator.
The WIAA released a 44-page document for specific guidelines for each sport Friday. For example, in softball, dugouts are not allowed to be used in practice and if a pitcher touches their mouth, a dead ball is called and the pitcher must sanitize their hands.
Counties are categorized by risk levels by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, which limits what activities can be done in a given sport based on risk level.
Currently Rock and Jefferson counties are under the moderately high-risk category. Walworth was listed under “high” on Thursday.
Whitewater High is also taking a cautious, slow reintegration, according to athletic director Justin Crandall.
The school is putting together a tier-system plan for summer activities.
Step one was coming back virtually and doing workouts. The next phase of that plan will begin Monday when no more then groups of 10 will do strength and conditioning outside on the track at the high school.
“We just want to get kids back in and working out,” Crandall said. “If we get to Aug. 3 and we do have fall sports, these kids have been doing almost nothing for two, three, four months. We thought it was important to get them back for strength and conditioning.”
The next step would be getting teams back together, which could happen in two to three weeks, according to Crandall. Low-contact sports, like tennis, cross county and swimming have the best chance to reconvene this summer at Whitewater for workouts.
The school will not sponsor any softball or baseball related workouts this summer.
Crandall is taking on a hands-on approach.
“I’ll be there (practices) to make sure we’re doing what we’re supposed to,” Crandall said.