LCSD offering sports workout participation

Morrow Field at Newport High School sits empty earlier this week. Starting Monday, Lincoln County School District high school athletes for all sports will begin outdoor strength and conditioning training. (Photo by Michael Heinbach)

LINCOLN COUNTY — High school athletes in the Lincoln County School District hoping to participate in prep sports this school year will start meeting for workouts beginning Monday.

In August, the Oregon School Activities Association (OSAA) granted school districts the ability to host workouts during Season I — which runs through December — for any high school sport in all three seasons. LCSD high schools are opening outdoor strength and conditioning drills Monday, with no equipment use, for all high school athletes who have received proper clearance. 

Coaches and school administrators will be on hand to lead drills and ensure that Oregon Health Authority, OSAA and county requirements are met. All activities will take place outdoors initially. 

The clearance-to-participate process involves completion of a pre-participation physical exam, and the meeting of residency/enrollment eligibility requirements. For complete details of LCSD participation requirements and downloadable forms, visit lincoln.k12.or.us/resources/family/athletics.

The district is waiving participation fees for the fall season time period. 

Majalise Tolan, school district secondary teaching and learning administrator, who also serves as the district athletic director, told the News-Times on Thursday afternoon that these workouts have the potential to be the first step toward interscholastic competition this calendar year.

“Season I this year is very different than any other sports season because we’re opening with strength and conditioning,” Tolan said. “As we continue to monitor, we’ll consider implementation of more in the future.”

She said the school district’s evaluation of potential progress toward sport-specific workouts, practices and eventually interscholastic competition will be based on input from multiple sources, including LCSD coaches and activity directors.

“We’re focused on going slowly and working on health and safety concerns before we start bringing anything back,” Tolan said. “Our athletic directors will be reviewing how things are going regularly, and we’ll be sticking with what we have for two weeks.”

Two weeks after workouts begin, Tolan said the district will make its first formal review and consider advancing to allowing sports equipment and potentially sports-specific practices. 

Tolan offered that because athletes from all three seasons will start workouts next week, it’s difficult to compare participation numbers to those of last year.

“Really, that’s like apples to oranges,” she said. Tolan also told the News-Times that she hasn’t heard many parent or administrator concerns about gathering student athletes for workouts.

“What we’re hearing most of all is ‘when are you going to get the kids back out here playing?’” she said. As for the possibility of interscholastic completion in the near future, Tolan said there’s still much to be accomplished before that consideration.

“We’re not going to take that possibility off the table,” she said. “Although that’s going to take a lot of conversation on the proper way to proceed and meeting protocols we need to meet.”

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