Robert E. Lee uses small groups to safely work out during pandemic


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The Robert E. Lee Academy soccer workforce is attempting to maintain issues easy because it goes by way of summer season exercises through the pandemic. For head coach David Rankin, the important thing has been small group sizes. The Cavaliers might even preserve these teams small when the South Carolina Impartial Faculty Affiliation permits them to increase due to how nicely issues are working for the Cavaliers.

“I’ve bought them in three teams of 5 and a bunch of eight and two teams come at 8:30 (a.m.) with one within the weight room and one exterior operating after which at 9:45 one other group comes,” stated Rankin. “We’ve not performed a complete lot throwing the ball or something like that. We’re simply within the weight room and getting in form mainly.



“SCISA stated we will go to 15 subsequent week, subsequent Thursday, I do not know that I’m. Perhaps we’ll do 7-on-7 and stuff like that. Most of my offensive individuals are again, my linemen are again. I’ve bought new receivers, a operating again and a quarterback, however the ones which are going to play have been within the system and know what we do, so I do not suppose that it is crucial that we get on the market and do a complete lot earlier than the primary day of observe.”

One of many largest advantages to having smaller teams — aside from making it simpler to social distance — has been private accountability. Rankin loves having a most of 9 folks within the weight room or in a bunch operating directly as a result of he can ensure every one in all them is placing within the work they should.

“The opposite factor it is performed for us is that the load room, 9 within the weight room has actually labored nicely, as a result of you possibly can focus extra with them. The much less folks in there, the extra you possibly can have them do it the appropriate approach. They can not, I do not wanna say cheat, however cheat themselves I reckon,” stated Rankin. “You do not have to remain so arduous on them, as a result of you possibly can see all of them, so it retains them from dishonest the system just a little bit I reckon. I’ve loved having 9 within the weight room.”

These smaller teams have additionally made Rankin and his employees keenly conscious of how they’re utilizing their time. REL has very particularly regimented exercise days, as a result of it desires to maintain issues clear and environment friendly. SCISA has allowed groups 12 observe days – practices that contain a soccer in any approach — this summer season, however the Cavaliers have largely caught to primary exercises as a result of it is the simplest method to preserve everybody wholesome.

“We’re presupposed to get 12 practices the place we will run all we wish to. In case you take a ball out, that is a observe and also you get 12 of these. I’ve kinda held onto these, we have kinda thrown the ball round three or 4 days, however we have not performed a complete lot of that,” stated Rankin. “In case you take a soccer out and use it in your drills, that counts as one in all your days. In case you line up on protection, that counts as one in all your days due to that. I solely get 12 of these and I nonetheless have eight of these left.

“I am most likely going to have some left once we begin as a result of I’ll keep at 9 (folks at a time), we’re checking temperatures, we’re washing fingers massive time, wiping all the pieces down within the weight room. We have stayed as cautious as we will and on the sector we keep unfold out fairly good.”

Whereas REL has been environment friendly with its exercises, there have been challenges to training through the pandemic. Rankin stated the largest problem has been the dearth of workforce constructing, particularly with the youthful gamers.

“One of many negatives is that we’re not getting any workforce constructing, no management,” stated Rankin. “Our youthful guys do not elevate as a lot as our older guys, so our youthful guys do not get pushed or seeing that management of how one can do issues the appropriate approach (as a result of they’re break up up).”



It has been removed from a daily summer season at REL, however Rankin stated his workforce has been thrilled to have the ability to do something football-related.

“They’ve responded very well as a result of they’re so comfortable to be right here, they will do absolutely anything to be right here,” stated Rankin. “We have been speaking immediately about what is going on to be the standards to return to high school, what is going on to be the protocol and one of many issues is they’ll should put on a masks. These boys wish to come again to high school so unhealthy that they do not care about that.”

Summer season exercises have been difficult throughout South Carolina because the variety of coronavirus instances continues to rise. A number of native faculties are but to begin exercises, whereas many throughout the state like Manning began exercises solely to place them on hiatus because the numbers elevated. Some college students across the REL program have stayed away from exercises as a result of they’ve members of the family which are extra prone to the virus and that is fairly alright with Rankin. He is aware of that the important thing to persevering with exercises is ensuring his workforce stays wholesome.

“The thought course of there’s that if we do not have an issue, we will preserve going,” stated Rankin on the opportunity of canceling exercises. “If we now have an issue, then we’ll re-access that. If somebody will get COVID then we’ll again up and regroup, however we’re going ahead. So long as nobody is exhibiting signs, we will preserve rolling.”

Regardless of all of the craziness and hypothesis, Rankin nonetheless thinks his workforce will play soccer this 12 months, however he additionally is not na ve sufficient to suppose it will be enterprise as regular this fall.

I feel we will play soccer this 12 months within the non-public faculties. I feel we’re nonetheless going to have some limitations so far as contact perhaps, at observe they will most likely inform us to not have as a lot contact as we usually do, attempt to preserve your social distancing as a lot as potential,” stated Rankin. “I do not know that we’ll have any scrimmages. We have got them lined up, however we’re not going in opposition to one other workforce 7-on-7 but, so I do not see them saying on Aug. 7 we will go scrimmage.

“That is simply my opinion, however I feel we’ll most likely restrict it all the way down to no scrimmages and simply go into the primary sport. That is simply my guess. If the numbers preserve going up, it may be a shortened season of some sort and simply do area video games. I feel we’re going again to high school. I do know at Lee Academy, until the federal government shuts it down, Lee Academy goes again to high school.”

Limiting contact goes to be tough for coaches throughout the nation because it tries to organize for a season of probably the most contact-heavy sports activities through the pandemic. Rankin is not totally certain what practices will appear like at any time when the Cavaliers will be capable of begin.



“That is going to be robust. That is my 35th 12 months and I’ve most likely hit just a little bit greater than most coaches. To be bodily, you need to be bodily in observe, for my part. That is the best way I used to be introduced up,” stated Rankin. “I do know if we get our tail kicked in a sport, we will exit and hit just a little extra, as a result of I wanna be bodily. I do not know the way that is going to work. There’s undoubtedly going to be some changes made so far as observe schedules and that form of stuff.”

It doesn’t matter what the autumn seems to be like, Rankin is proud of how nicely issues have gone at REL thus far.

“For us it is gone nice. We began on June 1, we now have not had anybody with a fever but,” stated Rankin. “That may be pretty much as good as we will hope for. It could’t go any higher thus far; we have adopted protocols and what SCISA has requested us to a T.”





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