Are you ready for some Olympic Heights football? Fall sports programs finally kicking into gear

Olympic Heights baseball and boys golf coach Casey Beck expresses, “I just hope we can all get back as quickly and safely as possible. This is a time in a teenagers life that they can never get back….. time I cherished very much when I was your age. I’m staying positive that all is going to work out for the best in the end.” School is back in. Players are getting ready. Fans are ready to cheer. It is finally time, OH sports are back. 

Varsity football started with outdoor conditioning from Sept. 21 to Oct. 3, and the players were able to use the weight room starting on Oct. 5. The non-contact period will be from Oct. 12-16, and the contact period will begin on Oct. 17, October 19 to October 24, and October 26 to October 29. Lastly, competition will happen from October 30 to December 19. 

Because of the late start to the football season due to the pandemic, Palm Beach County schools will be playing an abbreviated four-game schedule followed by a three-week playoff. All of the Palm Beach County games will be played at three different sites that feature artificial turf fields. The south county teams, which includes OH, will play their games at Boca Raton High School, the central county teams will play at Wellington High School, and the north county teams will play at Jupiter High School.

Olympic Heights opens its season against Spanish River on Saturday, Oct. 31, with a 2:00 P.M. kickoff. The Lions will then play Boca Raton on Friday, Nov. 6 at 6:00 P.M., West Boca on Saturday, Nov. 13 at 6:00 P.M., and John I. Leonard on Saturday, Nov. 21 at 2:00 P.M.

For the first two games of the season, the game’s participants will each be allotted two game tickets for spectators. If things go smoothly the first two weeks of play, the number of permitted spectators will be expanded to an presently undetermined percentage of the stadium.

OH head football coach Kevin Wald said that the players have been preparing for the season by “meeting since the spring a few times a week on Google Meets. The players on their own have, from what I can tell, been doing the best they can. Some have done push ups etc at home. Some have had access to some weights. Some that live near parks have been running.”

Under such unusual circumstances, the players have had to take individual responsibility for their own preparation for the upcoming football season. Lions receiver, cornerback, and special teams player junior Emmanuel Johnson explained that he has “been able to keep up with practicing and conditioning by working out, and getting my body prepared before I workout at school. Everyone this year knew in advance of the importance of this season. We came to an agreement that we have to go full throttle and not let up one bit.” 

Offensive and defensive lineman senior Christian Munoz said, “The way I have been keeping up with practice and conditioning personally knowing that there is less time before the beginning of the season is by maintaining my weight by watching what I eat, doing at least one hour of exercise every single day.”

On the mindset of the team, Munoz continued, “With the late start and no home games, this will definitely have an impact on the team, but the way we will make sure to play with our full potential is by communicating and working together as a team, reminding ourselves that we are all in this together, that we are not only a team but brothers that will help each other fight and become stronger every day. We also know that together as a team we know we can accomplish anything.”

OH swim coach James Cappello explained that there is a google classroom for the team and that they have been providing workouts. Girls golf coach Vanessa Koher said that since golf is not a contact sport, “maintaining social distancing and wearing masks near the pro shop are quite easy tasks to follow and implement.” 

Athletes, coaches, fans, and students should all be excited for this season of fall sports. Although it is a highly unusual start to the fall sports season, it will be good for the athletes to get back out there and play their sport. 

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