Keys will begin summer workouts on June 1

Byron Beers | Daily Press

Keys senior-to-be guard Riley Kimble scans the floor in a game at Keys High School on Feb. 8, 2019.

Keys High School athletes will begin summer activities on June 1 and Keys Athletic Director Steven Goss has developed a three-phase procedure, as well as a list of protocols with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The decision comes after a proposal of guidelines created by the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association didn’t pass in a vote held on Friday, May 22. The OSSAA is scheduled to hold another meeting on June 9. The meeting could alter what Keys has assembled.

“I want to keep community safety at a premium so that is why we have the safeguards in place,” Goss said. “This is a tough situation and we do not want our risks to outweigh our rewards. This is more about well being and safety for the future of our student athletes.

“We believe there will be positive mental health ramifications of allowing our students and coaches back June 1. We consider our students and coaches all part of a larger Keys Cougar Family and we want to keep our family safe. These are uncharted waters we are wading in and we want our stakeholders to know we are looking out for our students’ well-being in all aspects — physical, social and emotional.”

Phase one of Keys’ guidelines will take place from June 1-14. It’s a schedule of practice/workout times and days for football, boys basketball, girls basketball, baseball, cross country, track, golf and girls soccer, and it’s for grades 5-12.

Football practice for grades 9-12 will be Monday through Thursday from 7 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. Boys basketball, baseball, boys cross country, boys track and boys golf in grades 9-12 will be from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. on Monday through Thursday. All girls sports for grades 9-12 will be Monday through Thursday from 10:45 a.m. to noon. All girls and boys in grades 5-8 will practice on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Protocols are listed as follows:

Small group setting — social distancing protocols in place. If a student or coach chooses to wear a mask that will certainly be acceptable. We are not requiring any student or coach to wear a mask or any facial covering. We will be taking measures to limit physical contact and six feet social distancing will be in place to ensure safety.

All students and coaches will complete COVID-19 screening daily with a daily temperature check. If temperature is at or above 100.3 they will be required to return home and encouraged to speak with their primary care physician.

Facilities will be sanitized daily during this time period and all participants will be required to wash hands upon arrival and will be asked to wash hands and use hand sanitizer at least once every 60 minutes.

Students and coaches will be asked to bring their own hydration, we are not allowing student use of the water fountains. We ask that students do not share drinks with other students under any circumstances.

We ask that students and coaches arrive dressed to work out and they do not use locker room facilities.

Students are required to come during their allotted time unless previously cleared with the coaching staff. Students are not allowed to “hang out” before or after their workouts in the facilities.

We would ask that if a family can spare disinfecting wipes that each student brings a container to leave at the facility to insure we have adequate materials to clean equipment.

Coaches are being instructed that athletes who do not attend because they or their parents are not comfortable with the health risks will not receive any consequences or be held responsible in the future for non-participation.

Phase two will be from June 15-28. All times and days of practices/workouts are the same as phase one. All protocols from phase one will continue. Summer leagues and camps could be allowed pending the State of Oklahoma moving to phase three of the state’s reopening plan. Leagues and camps must be approved by Keys Public Schools administration on a case-by-case basis. Any attendance of fans will be based on the reopening progress in the state and will be announced before the activity takes place.

Phase three will follow the dead period (June 29-July 5). The OSSAA dead period will be in effect since the OSSAA summer proposal was not passed by the board of directors. No athletic activities are allowed during this period. Nor will any contact between players and coaches or between players and school facilities be allowed. If the OSSAA decides to negate the dead period for this year, this time period will fall into phase three protocols.

Phase three will be from July 6-31. All times and days of practice/workouts are the same as phase one and phase two for all students.

Protocols followed in phase one and phase two will continue if the state is still in phase three of the state’s reopening plan. If the State of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State Department of Education declare that the state is back to “normal”, no restrictions will be in place.

Softball and cross country may begin practice on July 15. All other sports are not allowed to practice, but skill work and an open facility time can be utilized.

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