After months away from competition current and incoming Cameron High School athletes will return to team activities for the first time this month for offseason workouts.
Cameron R-1 School District Supt. Matt Robinson announced CHS athletes will have access to workout facilities and participate in team conditioning drills, which comes months removed from the Missouri State High School Activities Association’s decision to cancel the 2020 spring sports season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Starting June 13, we will allow groups of 15 or less who can meet, do some conditioning and agilities,” Robinson said. “We will do those on the football field most likely in the morning. The workouts will be about 35 minutes, but it won’t be anything sports specific. No football throwing or baseball or softball.”
Robinson said the decision to open team workouts came after discussion with CHS athletic directors Matt Wenck and Kristy Stover. He also spoke with other superintendents associated with the Midland Empire Conference so that no program has an advantage over another. He added the plan for reopening mirrors those taken by the Suburban Conference, comprised of 27 schools throughout the Kansas City metropolitan area.
“We came up with some guidelines we all could agree to as a conference. It really worked out for us,” Robinson said. “They day before the Suburban Conference, which is about 27 schools, is almost identical to this.”
Should COVID-19 infection rates continue to fall as the summer progresses, Robinson said he hopes to open up the weight room. Robinson added MEC superintendents will reevaluate the agreement as June 13 approaches and hopes to open the weight room and allow teams to host preseason camps by early July. With the loss of conditioning for much of the spring and early summer, Robinson said the district will eliminate its mandatory dead week from July 3 through the 12th to make up for lost time.
“We’re going to reevaluate this as a conference on June 8, before we start, just to make sure this is something we’re going to be able to do,” Robinson said. “It might be a week or two into June and we figure out we’re in better shape and we can open up the weight room and get camps and things going … It’s something I hope will keep the kids busy this summer.”
With the football, softball and volleyball teams each coming off breakout seasons in 2019, athletes have been itching to get back into the weight room. In order to make the most gains with an abbreviated offseason conditioning program, Rich Campbell, district athletic trainer, board members and father of CHS starting quarterback Tyler Campbell, said players began adopting a body weight workout he originally purchased for his child athletes. He applauded their efforts so far because jumping into the weight room without first properly training the muscles necessary to develop explosive movements could lead to injuries for the Dragons and Lady Dragons.
“It was one of those things where it was online and fits with what we’re going to be able to do,” Campbell said. “It’s a program you can send to each individual kid and still have people accountable and overseeing things. It’s all body-weight exercises. Most of the injuries come from not being conditioned. It has the stretching, speed and agility components and doing things with more plyometric and body-weight activities. It will have an impact, especially on the younger kids.”