SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — COVID-19 caused the cancellation of the state basketball tournament and spring sports in South Dakota. The pandemic continues, but fall activities are proceeding as scheduled. Monday marked day one of practice.
After winning its first state “AA” boys soccer championship last October, Roosevelt is now just grateful to be on the practice field.
“I think everybody’s a little amped-up even more so this year. State champions or not, COVID or not, I think it’s just one of those years where people are excited to be out and doing stuff,” Roosevelt head coach Jud Conner said.
Rules have been adjusted for each fall sport due to COVID-19. Conner says the game itself won’t change, but off the field is another story.
“The locker rooms, the traveling on the bus, the sitting together on the bench. What do we do with extra balls out of bounds? How do we keep those clean?” Conner said.
Players are allowed to wear a mask, but it’s not required.
“I think it’s going to be a little difficult breathing in and out at such a high pace, but we can’t say no and we can’t say you have to,” Conner said.
The Rough Riders had limited contact during the spring and summer, but that doesn’t mean they’ll be easing their way into the regular season.
“I know some people have been practicing. We do like open field during the summer, so we’ve got kind of adjusted to each other, we still play a little bit with each other, so I think it’ll be pretty normal back to the season,” Roosevelt junior Garret Boll said.
Once the season starts, Conner says they’ll continue to work to make the game safe.
“Safe practices and safe habits and hygiene and if we can implement anything new that protects people then we’ll do that. If we can do that without changing the game itself and what it looks like on the field, I think that’s all the better,” Conner said.
The first three days of practice serve as tryouts for Roosevelt soccer. 70 players were expected at Monday’s workout, but only about 40 will make the team.