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FRANKLINTON — The N.C. High School Athletic Association last week gave the go-ahead for high schools to resume team workouts as early as June 15, but Franklin County schools is holding off another three weeks
The district will let its athletes and coaches get back to practices on July 6.
Franklin County has more than 180 confirmed cases of COVID-19, leading to 21 deaths.
Franklin County Superintendent Rhonda Schuhler said the numbers aren’t showing any promise of slowing down. Schuhler and the district athletic director Larry Webb told schools to hold off on all team workouts held on campus.
Franklinton High School athletic director and head football coach Jimmy Williams said the regulations and guidelines from the NCHSAA make it difficult to have any type of practice anyway.
“It’s ridiculous what we can and can’t do,” Williams said. “You can’t even hold a football, let alone throw it and catch it. If you practice with weights and bags, you have to clean them off every time someone uses them.”
Other districts within the 3A Big East conference, such as Northern Nash, Southern Nash, Hunt, Fike and Rocky Mount, will also wait until July 6 to perform any type of team workout.
Neighboring counties Granville, Nash, Vance and Wilson have informed all of their high schools to hold off all sorts of practices and exercises done with fellow teammates. Wake and Mecklenburg County have also stated they will wait until July 6.
NCHSAA rules for indoor sports, such as volleyball, limit workouts to 10 people — including both coaches and players.
Outdoor sports, such as soccer and football, can have at most 25 total people attend workouts. This means that workouts might last all day for a football team with over 50 players and 10 coaches cycling through the workout.
“We will do something and try to get the kids working out this summer,” Williams said. “I anticipate my football team to get going in time to prepare for the upcoming season.”
The NCHSAA said it will release Phase 2 of its plan to reopen high school athletics July 1.
“We’re hoping after July 1 things will change,” Williams said. “We might go into a new phase. We may or may not allow winter sports to do anything. We’re basically waiting for permission from the state at this point.”