Mt. Zion football works out together for first time in months

High School Sports

WCIA — There were no helmets or shoulder pads. The footballs are still put away but the Mt. Zion football team was still happy to workout together for the first time in months on Monday.

“Just awesome,” Mt. Zion head coach Patrick Etherton said. “Smiles, kids are happy to be outside, happy to see each other. Coaches are the same way.”

The IHSA approved its ‘Return to Play’ guidelines and protocols on Friday, allowing teams to start practicing following the COVID-19 restrictions put in place in March. The coronavirus pandemic canceled all spring sports in the state, keeping kids at home.

“As educators, we miss our students,” Etherton added. “We miss seeing them, we miss interacting with them, you know it’s not about football it’s just about the kids and them being active and being healthy.”

Currently only weightlifting, running and other non-sport specific activities are permitted. Social distancing is a must, meaning groups of no more than 10 are allowed. The Braves had nine groups of nine at different work stations, doing everything from jumping rope to yoga. Most of their time on Monday morning was spent outdoors, with only setup inside the school’s weight room.

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