Roanoke City schools welcome back student-athletes for workouts

Colonels, Patriots among those beginning workouts Monday

Roanoke – It’s just individual conditioning, weight training and solo drills. But it’s a huge step when you consider it marks the beginning of the return of high school athletics in the state of Virginia.

Patrick Henry and William Fleming were back on the football field today, with strict social-distancing guidelines in place. Each player had to go through a temperature check and questionnaire upon arrival. At P-H they held 3 staggered workout sessions. Equipment will be moved outdoors to better accommodate the team.

Here’s what the players can’t do: Pass the football, they must bring their own water bottle, and they can’t wear any protective gear yet. concern has been about the mental health of the student athletes, and they are busy adjusting--to the new normal.

“Football coaches are great at adapting, we adapted to the rules and were just waiting. I didn’t try to plan a lot of stuff beforehand. I saw what the guidelines were and wanted to wait and see what happened with it but once they came out, we adapted and came up with a good plan,” Patrick Henry head coach Alan Fiddler said.

“Having to adjust that’s one thing. Most of us started adjusting months ago so this is just another area that we have to adjust in and the the big thing is just appreciating being around each other. I think that’s what these 3-4 months has taught us is just how much just being around each other means. We know this is all temporary so we’re hoping things stay safe and we can continue on this path so that we know that the more that we take care of ourselves on and off the field the more chances we have to continue working out together,” William Fleming head coach Jamar Lovelace said.

Patrick Henry volleyball also started workouts Monday. The VHSL is set to meet in about 3 1-2 more weeks to further discuss possible fall sports scenarios.

About the Authors:

Eric is no stranger to the Roanoke Valley. He is a Roanoke native and proud graduate of William Fleming High School.

John serves as the Sports Director at WSLS 10. From Virginia Tech, to NASCAR and everything in between, WSLS 10 Sports covers the names making big plays in the NBA, NFL, NHL and MLB.