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Local athletic directors adapt to health and safety protocols, prepare for spring

Published: Feb. 24, 2021 at 12:10 AM CST
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - When the state and IHSA gave the go-ahead for high school sports to resume in late January, athletic directors across Illinois scrambled to get new schedules together for games and practices. So how are A.D.’s handling things so far.

The modified winter sports season is now a month in with just a couple weeks to go. The 23 Sports Ticket checked in with Guilford athletic director Augie Toldo about how the school has handled all the health and safety protocols put in place. Fans are allowed at basketball games. School officials know where each person is sitting in case contact tracing needs to be done. Time is taken in between each game to sanitize the bleachers and benches. Toldo says everyone is doing their part.

“Everybody knows what job that we do,” said Toldo. “So like, I’ll spray it down, if my son’s here, he’ll follow and wipe it down or another worker will follow that down. I have an administrator take the tickets, the scorer’s table, they know what they’re doing. Then we have our Aramark worker, he’s taking care of the benches for the teams, that they sit on. So, it’s all a team working together. We do it with about four or five people at each game. Like I said, so far it’s been going well.”

Schools have shown that low-risk sports like swimming and diving, and high-risk sports like basketball can be done safely. Now comes the tricky part. There’s going to be a bit of overlap of sports over the next couple weeks, as football, boys soccer, and girls volleyball all begin practice. Guilford also has one of the few scenarios of sharing a football stadium with another school. Toldo says the end of January became a little crazy trying to squeeze about 17 sports into four months.

“The coaches are working together and making sure we share spaces that we’ll be going on,” said Toldo. “The prime example is football and (boys) soccer will be going at the same time. We’re going to need to share the field for practice because it’s going to be hard to go out on the grass area.”

“Even East High. We’ve been in contact with East and Coach Griffin. They’ll be coming over here. We just work it out. We work together and I just think a lot of teamwork makes things go pretty smoothly.”

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