WAHOO – Wahoo and Bishop Neumann athletes got back to work on June 1.

For many, it was the first time they have had a chance to get back into the school they left in early March.

Monday marked the first time that high school athletes in the state of Nebraska could gather inside their high school to work on weight training and conditioning.

Based on guidelines set forth by Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts, the State of Nebraska Health Department and the Nebraska School Activities Association, high school’s across the state were able to open their school’s to welcome the student-athletes back.

Each school has established their own plan based on the guidelines set forth by the state.

Wahoo High School Activities Director Robert Barry, football coach Chad Fox, trainer Rachel Hall developed the plan for the Wahoo athletes and with the help of other coaches and countless volunteers got the weight room and conditioning areas set up to conform with the rules and guidelines set by the state of Nebraska.

The Warrior weight room and training facility is going to be open five days a week.

10-through-12th graders will work on out in two groups of 10 on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Seventh, eighth and ninth graders will work out on Tuesday’s and Thursday’s in two groups of 10 from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m.

During the hour long sessions, 10 athletes will work out in the weight room and 10 more with be in the gymnasium.

The 10-person groups will remain the same throughout the month of June and will be re-evaluated on July 1.

Barry said that the school is prepared to have the athletes come in and workout in a safe environment.

“We are excited to have the kids back in the school. Each athlete will have their own equipment to use in the weight room and they understand that if you touch it, you clean it,” said Barry.

Fox, coach of the defending state champion Warriors is looking forward to the interaction with his players and students.

“That is what I have missed the most is just the day-to-day interaction with the kids. It will be good to be able to have that again,” Fox said.

Barry expects to have 85-100 kids in for workouts every day.

Each athlete will have their temperature taken before they are allowed to enter the building, there will be limited access to restrooms and athletes will not be allowed to bring their cell phones into the school. They are asked to bring only a water bottle and a towel.

“It’s a very fluid situation. Our goal is to be better at it the second day than we were the first,” said Barry when talking about dealing with the ever changing COVID-19 guidelines and regulations.

Sport specific drills are not permitted and sport specific equipment may not be used as part of school-sponsored summer conditioning.

Workouts also got underway south of town as Bishop Neumann High School welcomed student-athletes back into the fold.

Veteran Coach Tom Gerdes and new football coach Richard Evans along with members of the Bishop Neumann coaches committee spent a month developing a plan for the summer weight training and conditioning programs.

They were able to put that plan into action on Monday.

“I thought that for the first morning things went really well. The kids showed up, were willing to work hard and took things seriously knowing everything that is at stake,” said Gerdes.

Neumann will have kids training all five days of the week from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and again in the afternoon from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Athletes in group A will work out Monday, Wednesday and Friday and athletes in Group B will work out on Tuesday and Thursday one week. The next week it will be the opposite to ensure that both groups get in the same number of lifts.

The hour long workouts will integrate both weight training and conditioning according to Gerdes.

No more than 15 athletes will be allowed in the weight room at any given time.

“That is a number that we were comfortable with. It allows us to be able to get stuff done and make sure that we are also following all of the directed health measures,” Gerdes said.

All of the groups will remain the same throughout the month of June and all of the Cavalier athletes are expected to closely follow all of the guidelines set forth by the Neumann coach’s committee.

All of the athletes are asked to meet near the concession stand while maintaining six-feet of social distancing.

Athletes are required to be on time if they expect to work out and prior to any taking part in any session the athlete’s temperature will be taken. Any athlete with a temperature of greater than 100.0 degrees Fahrenheit will not be allowed to work out.

After the work out, all of the athletes are asked to leave in a timely manner and to not congregate in the parking lot.

Gerdes is hopeful that the training the athletes put in over the summer will be able to make up for the 10 weeks of organized training the athletes lost as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We have a lot of kids who take part in our track program and making up for the training and fitness that our athletes lost by not having a track season is going to be really tough. Not having a spring sports season was a huge setback for us,” Gerdes said.

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