LAKE CITY, S.C. — It was a much-anticipated return last week as Lake City High School football coach Ronnie Baker was able to welcome his squad back to the practice field.
Even if it was just a few players at a time.
LCake City High School, along with Johnsonville High School, joined the growing number of athletic programs to begin summer workouts again with an eye on hopefully getting back to full practices as some point.
“It was just a blessing to be able to see the kids face-to-face and to be able to come together — even if it was just nine kids and a coach a time,” Baker said. “It was different and makes for a long day, going from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. with different groups, but I think everyone’s just thankful for the opportunity to even have a chance to play a season.
“Our kids and our coaches have done a good job of making the adjustments and just doing what we’ve got to do to keep everyone safe.”
Like everyone else, the Panthers are in phase one of the South Carolina High School League’s return to play guidelines, so the week was mostly about getting reacquainted and starting to ramp up the offseason conditioning program a little bit.
“We’ve just been working on our conditioning and just the relationship part of being back together,” Baker said. “Everybody’s catching up on what’s been going on during the quarantine and what’s been going on in the world.
“Attendance was good, and we saw good attitudes from our kids. They were eager to get back to some type of normalcy.”
Ken Cribb echoed those sentiments as his Johnsonville squad returned for a few days of conditioning workouts last week as well.
“It was good to get back out there,” he said. “Everyone was glad to be back and to try to get back to normal. We’ve had a good three days and gotten done about as much as you could get done following the safety (protocols).”
The majority of the team has turned out for the workouts, minus a few still awaiting physicals, Cribb said, and the Flashes have been adjusting well to the new norm of group work.
“It’s a learning process for everyone,” Cribb said. “I don’t know if there’s one right way to do it; we’re just kind of feeling it out as we go and make changes when we feel we need to. But so far everyone’s done a good job. ...
“They know that now that we’re here, it’s time to get back to work.”