Tuesday afternoon brought a positive COVID-19 test for one of the Sealy High School coaches involved with the voluntary strength and conditioning and sport-specific instruction and Tiger head football coach and athletic director Shane Mobley announced that all workouts are suspended until June 25 out of caution.
A statement from Sealy ISD said the coach who tested positive last had contact with their assigned student athletes on June 11 and although no other coaches or athletes have tested positive or experienced symptoms, all workouts ceased Tuesday morning.
UIL restrictions state that the coach who tested positive, as well as the group of student athletes they were assigned to, are to be removed from activities and self-isolate for 14 days. Mobley said in a Tuesday evening phone interview that with the coaching staff’s crossover to the junior high student athletes, they will be barred from resuming until after the Independence Day holiday.
“Since this is our first case with the school district and athletics, we said ‘Let's just shut things down, let's take these 10 days and just have everybody relax a little bit,’” Mobley said Tuesday evening. “Because we don't want four, five or six or even two cases.”
Other student athletes not involved with the infected coach can return June 25 before the coach and athletes in question return on June 29. Junior high schoolers will not return to workouts until after July 4 because Mobley cited historically low attendance numbers for that week and said that factored into the decision to hold them out longer.
Back to square one we go, right? Not so much, Mobley thought.
When asked if this shutdown not long after they were finally able to resume activities would serve as a setback for Sealy athletes, Mobley didn’t think it would do much to the progress built up in the initial workouts.
“I think that this week and a half has done a great job of them getting their legs back underneath them,” Mobley said. “A lot of stuff that we've been doing has been based off bodyweight. We really haven't been in the weight room so there's a lot of stuff that they can do at home if they'll just continue to do it, they're gonna be just fine.”
Another thing the coach mentioned was that there’s still plenty of time before the season and he’d much rather a 10-day off period now than to sit out a whole fall sports season.
“I'll tell you this much, for us to have four or five kids come down with COVID-19 and get sick and have to be out, that would hurt us more than anything else,” Mobley said. “We still have time. We still have basically a week left in June, we've got July, we've got August, and there's breaks in between because of coaching school. We still have time to get our mentality right and prepared, I just think that we have to do our part to make sure that we don't shut down again.”
If anything, Coach Mobley sees this juncture as another teaching point for the teams moving forward into the season if a similar break would have to be mandated down the road.
“The message is right now, expect the unexpected as far as I would much rather take the precaution now and let us get an adjustment so if something like this happens in-season for volleyball or cross country or football, our kids are going to know how to handle it,” Mobley said.