After two weeks of summer conditioning, Hernando, Hillsborough and Pinellas County public schools start the second phase of their workouts on Monday. Pasco County will begin its first phase on Wednesday.
The three counties that started the next phase are allowing more athletes to be on campus during each session (up to 50 at one time in Pinellas and up to 40 in each group in Hernando and Hillsborough).
The biggest change is the use of facilities. Hillsborough teams can now conduct workouts in the weight rooms of their schools, though locker rooms will remain closed.
That is welcome relief, particularly in football where programs had to endure summer conditioning last week amid heat advisory warnings.
For some teams, the risk was too much.
East Bay’s daily workouts, scheduled at 3 p.m., were called off Thursday and Friday this past week because of soaring temperatures.
The Indians went through conditioning at that time so the coaching staff could be there. All activities had to be outdoors through the first phase. And players had to bring their own water bottles (no use of water fountains or water coolers on campus). That policy still remains.
Steinbrenner’s football program postponed workouts at school until July 6. There were no COVID-19 cases with the players or the coaches..
“I just felt like it was the right decision for our players, coaches and families,” Warriors coach Andres Perez said.
Pinellas County has decided to keep locker rooms, gymnasiums and weight rooms off limits.
“With the air that circulates indoors, we felt it was best to stay outdoors for now to prevent more transmission of the virus,” Pinellas County athletic director Al Bennett said.