Summer workouts begin for high school athletes across Kansas

Published: Jun. 1, 2020 at 11:45 PM CDT
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Monday morning was the first time that high school athletes in Kansas could return to school for summer workouts. For some, it's the first time they've been at their schools since March.

While it's unclear how the fall season may look, Eyewitness News Monday caught up with Wichita Heights High School track and football coach Dominick Dingle who says getting teams together for workouts is a step in the right direction.

Monday morning, Heights football players were locked in, even though it was early in the day and they haven't had access to workout facilities at school or local gyms.

"I feel the energy. It's super early, but I didn't see any tired faces. Everybody was ready to go," says Heights senior Dylan Depperschmidt.

With a long break featuring no "zero hour" for morning weights at school and the YMCA closed for about two months, Depperschmidt says getting work in away from his team was tough.

"But I am just glad to be back," he said Monday morning.

The summer workouts were cleared to begin with new guidelines put in place, encouraging social distancing.

Dingle says he waited for Monday morning for months after spring sports were canceled due to COVID-19.

"It was exciting to see them and to look at their faces and to actually interact," he says.

Heights joins schools across the state preparing for an upcoming season they hope will happen. Dingle says he and his staff have outlined plans that keep 14 players per coach at one time.

June workouts are only allowed outside, per district rules. Dingle hopes his players will have access to the weight room in July.

While it doesn't look like summer programs of the past, the coming days have more meaning for Dingle and his players after seeing seasons canceled and uncertainty about the fall. The coach says he wants his players to have the escape of working out together.

"Being able to have an outlet, to be able to teach, coach, mold, talk, just being able to be an avenue and a support system for your young men,' Dingle says.