In accordance with the Summit County health department, Park City High School athletes resumed training on June 1
Christmas may be more than six months away, but for Park City High School football coach Josh Montzingo, he could barely sleep on Sunday night because of the excitement that was set to take place the next morning.
On Monday at the school, Montzingo was sanitizing and reorganizing the weight room because at 8 a.m., his Miners were going to be showing up for the first day of training since the COVID-19 pandemic shut down sports in mid-March.
“I had this little speech all planned out that I was ready to do as soon as the boys all showed up. … Just telling them that I can’t wait to watch them train and play,” Montzingo said on Monday after the first day of training. “Instead it ended up being about how today is basically Christmas morning for me, and I was so excited for it that I barely got any sleep. … And that’s fine because it was so worth it.”
This was a big step for the athletes of Park City as activities director Jamie Sheetz believes the kids needed an outlet and they’re more than happy to provide that for them.
“It’s only training stuff for us as far as the high school is concerned, but more than anything it’s great to get the kids back to doing some sort of activity after being stuck for so long,” Sheetz said. “Kids need an outlet, and if we aren’t giving them one they might find other ones that aren’t as productive. The coaches and the kids have been chomping at the bit, but the biggest concern is being safe to return.”
Sheetz was very clear though that all of the guidelines that are set in place must be followed because in the end, Park City School District superintendent Jill Gildea makes all of the final decisions.
“Right now we are operating under plan 4.5 of Gov. Herbert’s plan for the state of Utah. … Basically the county is yielding to those documents,” Sheetz said. “We have to make sure we are careful though because we have to play by the rules and make sure everyone is safe if we want to move forward for the fall.”
That’s the plan for Montzingo, who is moving full steam ahead but preparing as if there will be a high school football season. So to make sure that he’s staying in compliance with the guidelines, he got back to work right away with a new training schedule for the three teams within the football program.
On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays Montzingo has organized three different groups of 24 athletes to take part in weight training. With hour-long sessions beginning at 8 a.m. and ending at 12 p.m. — allowing for 30 minutes of sanitizing in between — Montzingo has set up the weight room to allow for proper social distancing and is checking temperatures before and after.
While it’s mainly the varsity and junior varsity teams on those three days, the freshman team will be doing the same thing on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
“We worked within the parameters set by the Summit County health department, and Sheetz came up with a plan for how many kids we felt we could have safely indoors,” Montzingo said. “We already had an outdoors statute so we had to create the indoor one. … And I really think we did a great job of that.”
According to Sheetz, the allowance to resume training is a big step in the right direction if there is to be fall sports once high school resumes in August. But that’s only allowed if the guidelines are followed and there are no setbacks.
“As of today, it looks like there will be sports in the fall. … But we don’t know what that’ll look like in terms of spectators and guidelines,” Sheetz said. “UHSAA said they weren’t going to sanction sports until everyone is in the yellow phase. … If people are careless, it’s going to hurt everyone so that’s why it’s important to follow the rules. I hope we just keep progressing forward so we can give our kids that chance to play again.”
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