‘Cautiously optimistic': SCS sports conditioning underway with strict, new guidelines

High school sports to come with new rules

SHELBY COUNTY, Tenn. (WMC) - Tuesday was the first day back on the field for many athletes in Shelby County.

School leaders are allowing conditioning with a number of new strict guidelines.

“It’s a relief to be back out here, but you’re cautiously optimistic,” said Whitehaven Head Football Coach Rodney Saulsberry.

There is a lot of caution because it’s still unknown if there will be a season and sports is a lot different in the midst of a pandemic. 

Some of the new rules include temperature checks before taking the field, a list of health questions players must answer and other precautions.

“The protocol is just staying separate,” said Saulsberry. “We’re going to exaggerate the social distancing. We’ll probably be like five yards which is 15 feet apart as opposed to 6.”

This is all a part of the new normal as school districts like SCS try to institute strict new guidelines to welcome students back into the fold. Sports is just one piece of the puzzle.

SCS has lots of new rules that require funding, such as providing masks each day to students, a rigorous new cleaning process that requires hiring more staff and the biggest piece of the puzzle is providing digital devices and wifi to students who need them.

“It’s going to cost millions of dollars,” said SCS Superintendent Dr. Joris Ray who appeared Tuesday on NBC Nightly news. “We’ve spent already an upwards of close to $50 million. (We) are ready to get school up and going, but we’re going to need more.”

The broadcast segment focused on the struggles school districts across the country are facing.

Memphis City Council approved $5 million Tuesday in additional funding for digital devices for SCS.

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