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Yukon athletes finally return to the field

Jeremy Reed was thrilled to see the cars arrive and the players get out to walk across the parking lot to Yukon’s practice field.
Monday was the first time the 91 players had been together since mid-March, when the coronavirus pandemic halted sports in Oklahoma, and across the nation.

The Millers got their first taste of the field in months on Monday when they returned to Yukon High School for summer workouts. Photos / Larissa Copeland

“It was great,” Reed said. “It took an enormous amount of planning.”
The 91 players represent only athletes in 10th through 12th grades.
Freshmen could join the workouts beginning next week.
Reed said the first day of workouts went very well.
“We had zero issues. Everything went very, very smooth as far as arrival and the transition process. It was a good sight to see,” he said. “I am proud of everyone who helped us have a flawless session.”
With all 91 players on the field, Reed said it was important that the coaching staff monitor them closely to make sure everyone was following guidelines.
Those guidelines are the result of about two weeks of work by the athletic staff.
The first week of practice is being used as a “measuring stick” to see what condition the players are in.
Reed said most arrived in good shape, while a few will be eased back into condition.
“We are trying to determine if they will be ready for a 90-minute workout beginning next week. It is important to see where everyone is. We are being very careful as we ease kids back into their workouts,” Reed said.
The athletes were ready, he said.
“There was a great level of excitement. You could see the smiles on their faces,” Reed said.
Yukon’s athletes, while unable to meet together in person, have continued working out with the help of technology.
“We’ve done more Zoom meetings than we would like to count, but they are effective for workouts,” he said.
Zoom is an online meeting program that has become a popular way for meetings to be held.
Reed said previously that the team’s strength coach had worked closely with players to help formulate workout plans.
The results have proven successful.
Kids who attended 70 to 75 percent of the Zoom workouts were prepared. Those who attended less than 50 percent of the sessions were not in quite as good of shape, Reed said.
“It was very obvious who had attended our workouts and who hadn’t. It was a very small percentage who didn’t. The kids did a great job of preparing,” he said.
While Yukon has focused on concerns related to the coronavirus, the athletic program also is making sure the athletes stay safe in the summer heat.
That’s one of the reason that practices this week will end by 9:35 a.m.
Reed said the coaching staff has gone through extensive training on what to watch for in their athletes.
“We want to be proactive to make sure our coaches can see when a kid is struggling,” he said.
There was only one incident on Monday involving the heat. However, the coaches caught the problem early and were able to make sure the student was properly cared for.

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