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BC among first to hold workouts

As Bethlehem Catholic’s football program wrapped up their post workout stretches last week, players were distanced eight feet apart and dismissed line by line.

The Golden Hawks were one of two programs in the area, alongside, Bangor, to have started voluntary, offseason workouts last week, and to say that practices look much different now would be an understatement.

“We’re doing everything outside and not even dealing with the kids going inside to the weight room,” said head coach Joe Henrich. “We have a six-week plan heading into August where we hope things can then feel more normal for a football type of practice. The big thing for us this summer is just making sure we can get these guys in shape, work on their speed and agility and focus on injury prevention. We don’t anticipate adding a lot of muscle, but we need to make sure they can stay healthy.”

The tedious task of preparing sessions in the coronavirus era is a detailed checklist of drive-in temperature check screenings, making sure players are socially distancing in their groups of 25 or less, bringing their own water bottles, coaches wearing masks at all times and sanitizing equipment after every use.

With the help of working with Coordinated Health, Henrich and his staff were able to move quickly into formulating workout plans ahead of most schools in the East Penn Conference. That, and not having to wait for a monthly school board meeting for official approval like public schools, has also helped, but Henrich noted that Coordinated Health’s preparation has been key in the process.

“They have really been huge for us,” Henrich said. “It’s been a team effort working with them and they’ve been awesome. As soon as we were able to get out there, we already had the plan in place. We could have actually started a week sooner, but we wanted to make sure everything was following the proper protocols to make sure the kids are in safe environment.”

Henrich noted that this year’s roster has 69 players currently and last week’s three-day camp averaged around 60 participants a day, as they worked on speed and fitness, individual skills and plyometric strength.

Most of all, being back together as a team is the biggest plus that Henrich and company are enjoying. The days of isolation are hopefully over with, but having the human camaraderie of being in a group setting does wonders for all, especially high school teenagers.

“I think being back together as a unit can really go unnoticed,” Henrich said. “These kids need this. It’s good for them even with all the precautions we have in place. I just hope we can keep moving forward without any hiccups.”