High School Sports

Katy ISD coaches to begin establishing remote workouts for student-athletes

By DENNIS SILVA II, Times Sports Editor
Posted 3/21/20

Katy ISD high school and junior high campus athletic coordinators will begin meeting with their coaching staffs on Monday via online conferencing to create workouts for student-athletes through Canvas or email.

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High School Sports

Katy ISD coaches to begin establishing remote workouts for student-athletes

Posted

Katy ISD high school and junior high campus athletic coordinators will begin meeting with their coaching staffs on Monday via online conferencing to create workouts for student-athletes through Canvas or email.

On March 20, Katy ISD announced it was initiating the online learning platform Canvas for its teachers and students. Coaches will be available to students and parents between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.

This is the first step for coaches to re-establish consistent contact with student-athletes since Katy ISD suspended athletic events and closed campuses on March 13.

“The biggest thing at this point, especially that first week, is we want our coaches to step up and help take care of the social and emotional needs of our students and engaging them in some sort of platform so they can see the coach’s face and keep working through this,” Katy ISD athletic director Debbie Decker said.

‘This” is the uncertainty due to precautions for the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19. The University Interscholastic League, the state’s governing body for high school athletics, extended its suspension of activities on March 19. The earliest games may now resume is May 4.

“We’re all going to do what the governor has asked, what the president has asked, and at the same time we can work on our skills at home in drills that are safe and continue with our fitness and exercises,” Decker said.

During the first week, Decker said coaches will be asked to make contact with every athlete and every student in their class. Engaging students in learning is priority No. 1.

The following week, or the second week of the program starting March 30, coaches will begin posting 30-minute workouts per day.

Campus coaches that teach physical education or don’t teach a core subject will be asked to help develop workout drills for each of the athletic programs, specific to each sport. The workouts that are established will vary in how they are created.

Some head coaches have two athletic periods, so they might plan the workouts. Some campuses have strength and conditioning coaches, so they might be the ones devising them.

Students who do not have an athletic period because their academic course load is too full will have to be engaged in a different way, through the online video conferencing system Zoom, email, Google calendar or another avenue.

“We’re not boxing our coaches in on exactly what it has to look like,” Decker said. “We’re giving them some flexibility.”

Decker said she had multiple meetings this week with district superintendent Ken Gregorski and deputy superintendent Leslie Haack through Zoom about how to keep moving forward.

For instance, the opening of Jordan High School, scheduled to start up in August, and the establishing of its athletic department is not expected to be hindered because of the break in time.

“There’s always a way to work through things,” Decker said. “(Jordan High campus athletic coordinator) Coach (Mike) Rabe and (principal) Dr. Ethan Crowell immediately began hiring. (Rabe) almost had his entire staff already and ready to go for this next fall. Starting Monday, we’ll start processing purchase orders and the warehouse will be receiving equipment during certain hours, and we will be able to continue with the open of Jordan High School by working remotely. Our business office has been incredible through this in giving us the tools to keep going.”

The district also announced on March 19 that Legacy Stadium eventually will be used as a drive-thru testing site for COVID-19 for at-risk individuals. It is the second time in four years that the site is being used for emergency purposes.

In 2017, Legacy Stadium was used as a sign-up location for search-and-rescue teams during Hurricane Harvey and occupied by multiple emergency first responder groups for about a month.

“Yes, I did envision it to be a place other groups, like county or state officials, could potentially use,” Decker said. “I remember where Tully Stadium in Spring Branch ISD was used for some things. The Merrell Center has been used. Any time you have a site like Legacy Stadium with the parking lot capabilities and the infrastructure and whatnot, we absolutely, and the bond committee too, had the vision of all the different things this stadium could be for our community.

“Now, did I imagine it becoming an actual test site? Not necessarily, but I did imagine it being a site that could be commandeered by state and federal agencies that needed it in times of emergency, such as Hurricane Harvey. This is just one more opportunity for the school district to do their part and help.”

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