The Wetumpka football team has shut down its in-person workouts this week after learning two players tested positive for COVID-19, Wetumpka coach Tim Perry told The Herald on Thursday. The AHSAA does not have a set list of guidelines for teams to follow in cases of a positive test but the coaching staff made the decision as a precaution.
“That’s something we talked about as coaches," Perry said. "We thought it would be best to shut down summer workouts for the rest of the week.”
Since making the decision, the team has held two team workouts over Zoom, as it did during the spring, to make up for the lost time. Perry admitted it was a disappointment for the players and the coaching staff to have to shut down team workouts on campus but everyone understands why the decision was made.
“We can follow all of the guidelines to a T but then we can’t control the players once they leave here," Perry said. "They are trying to do normal teenage activities. The challenge we all face is not knowing the people they come in contact with outside of here. I’ve been self-conscience about parents feeling like their sons are at a higher risk playing football which isn’t really true.”
The school has gotten help from the Wetumpka Fire Department to help give another deep clean to the school's facilities since the positive tests happened.
“The fire department has gone above and beyond," Perry said. "They found a bio-degradable chemical that they spray. As it dries, it kills any type of germs or bacteria on a surface for 10 days. They have been gracious enough to spray our locker room and weight room three times now.”
Perry said the two players who tested positive will be out of practice until after their two-week quarantine period and dependent of a negative test result.
Wetumpka will be returning to its normal summer schedule next week with the first team workout happening Tuesday morning. Perry said he is confident in his players still getting work in this week but it will be a challenge to return to the field with the same energy.
"It’s hard to predict how much momentum will be lost and I think that’s going to be up to each player and how they deal with this down time," Perry said. "We want to do our part in keeping everyone safe but we also know the season is fast approaching. It’s kind of tricky.”
Pick up a copy of next week's The Herald for more info on summer workouts for teams from around Elmore County.