ILS Football And Cross Country To Begin Outdoor Conditioning Tuesday

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Anthony Yero, Co-Editor-in-Chief

At last, sports are back at Immaculata LaSalle.

For the first time since COVID-19 halted all high school sports five months ago, there will be practices on Tuesday.

“It took some time, but there’s finally some light at the end of the tunnel,” Head Athletic Director Nicholas Fernandez said.

ILS is adopting the Florida High School Athletic Association’s fall sports plan, which allows practices for fall sports to begin on August 24. Practices were supposed to begin Monday, but were pushed back a day due to concerns of Tropical Storm Laura.

These sports — football, cross country, golf, swimming and diving and girls volleyball — can play games as early as September 4.

Much like everything else going on at ILS, practices will operate differently in 2020. Football players will have to wear a mask when on the sideline and bring their own water bottles instead of using the water fountain.

“I think it’ll feel a little weird for the first couple days but we will get used to it,” said junior linebacker Eric Islami.

And while school may have started virtually, LaSalle’s athletic department believes the plan they submitted to the Archdiocese of Miami, which includes temperature checks, questionnaires for students before entering facilities and dates to follow, will ensure safety for players and coaches.

As of now, all fall sports teams will commence ‘Phase I’ of their return to sports. Every phase will need to last a minimum of 10 days before moving onto the next. They’ll need to reach ‘ Phase 3’ before their season-opener against Somerset Academy on October 10.

ILS is one of few schools in the Miami area to start football practice this week. Florida Christian is set to begin practices on September 8 and Belen Jesuit will start on September 11, according to David Wilson of the Miami Herald.

Miami-Dade County and Broward County Public Schools are yet to provide an update on the start of fall sports practices to their member schools as of Tuesday afternoon.

For the ILS Cross Country team, they’ll begin the first phase outside conditioning on Tuesday. Their practice will be 75 minutes long and consist of 18 athletes and two coaches.

While the circumstances may be odd, head coach Eddie Cerdeiras knows what is necessary in order to set his team up for success.

“We need to assimilate and resist what is available, and by that I mean to pay attention to the student-athletes — not what you hear from them, but what you see from them,” Cerdeiras said. “Although we are all challenged to leave our comfort zone, it is an opportunity for us to grow.