Area high school football, volleyball, golf and cross-country squads are getting ready for a potential fall sports season during summer workouts and open gyms.
Local summer camps have been cancelled or postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, but coaches and athletes are putting in the time over the summer to prepare for a hoped for season.
The Lovell High School football squad has been doing weightlifting every Monday-Thursday from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
“We’re preparing as if the season is going forward,” LHS head coach Nicc Crosby said. “The trickiest thing so far is knowing what to do for camps with the different protocols in place. All camps are on hold until we see if some protocols are eased up.”
For the Rocky Mountain Grizzlies, they are in phase two of their summer sports protocols in which activities may consist of conditioning, strategy drills and film study. The team can also do 7-on-7 passing scrimmages with no contact between players. All footballs should be wiped down after use.
Fall practices for football are scheduled to begin on August 17.
Coach Stephany Durtsche said the Lovell Lady Bulldogs volleyball team was planning to attend a team camp in Missoula at the University of Montana, but the camp has been cancelled due to the coronavirus.
“This summer we have combined with coach Chris Edwards and the basketball program to offer morning workouts for any incoming volleyball/basketball athletes eighth grade and up,” Durtsche said. “We have seen a good number of girls that are committed to attending.
“In these workouts, we have implemented lifting weights, plyometrics and speed training to become faster, stronger, quicker and more athletic. We have also been having open gyms with a good number of committed athletes attending. Due to COVID-19, we have been limited in what we can do in these open gyms so it has opened up opportunity to emphasize fundamentals and practice skill work. We have been cleared to play on outdoor nets and have been able to get in game play. We love to see the girls attend the summer sessions and having a fun time.”
Durtsche said two new coaches will be assisting her this season. Tera Kostelecky will be coaching the JV squad, taking over for Kristin Owens, and Steven Stolk will be coaching the freshman squad, taking over for Mykel Anderson.
“They both bring years and years of volleyball knowledge and experience to the staff,” Durtsche said. “We are excited for the upcoming season and eager to see what this season will look like with all of the anticipated COVID-19 restrictions.”
For the Lady Grizz, their open gyms consist of conditioning and individual and skill work where social distancing can be maintained, according to school protocols. The players can hit the ball between other players and play six-on-six intrasquad games. All volleyballs should be wiped down after use.
Fall practices for volleyball are also scheduled to start August 17.
Lovell High School head golf coach Craig Lundberg said that some members of the golf team have been participating in local golf tournaments over the summer.
“We’ve had a few kids that are interested in golf go out to the driving range to hit some golf balls,” Lundberg said. “That’s the best way to get ready for the season.”
Fall golf practices are set to begin on August 10.
LHS head cross country coach Caleb Sanders said his runners are doing everything on their own time.
“If we have a season, things will work out great,” Sanders said.
RMHS cross country coach John Bernhisel was unavailable to comment.
Cross country practices are scheduled to begin on August 17.
By Sam Smith