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Dothan Wolves adjust to COVID-19 changes

Published: Jul. 9, 2020 at 8:52 PM CDT
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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) -

The road-map to reopening schools under COVID-19 is a difficult task as staff try to keep students safe and healthy, but when it comes to athletics, that task becomes even harder to accomplish!

One of the biggest changes Dothan City Schools is implementing for their sports teams is getting rid of water stations and making sure every athlete is bringing their own water bottle.

This change comes after DCS released the 24 page plan to reopening under COVID-19.

“With our athletics were making sure that were keeping our kids safe. So we are changing some of the methods like for example the water system they use, it’s usually been in a group method, well right now they’re not doing that. Were also making sure our kids are screened before they come to practices,” Meagan Dorsey, Dothan City Schools public information officer said.

A change that is critical for athletes in a confined space.

“We don’t provide water for the athletes right now, were asking them to bring their own water and to not share water with their friends. We’ve covered the water fountains in the field house and weight room area so they’re not available for them to use. Were just doing everything we can to avoid anyone getting infected,” head coach, Smitty Grider said.

But with limited time in a game between time-outs and halftime, finding your water bottle could end up becoming a game of I spy.

“That’s one of the concerns I have is what are we going to do when games start because obviously they’re gunna have to hydrate during a ball game and I don’t know about you but trying to keep up with 120 individual water bottles on a sideline could be problematic,” Grider said.

With temperatures anywhere over 90 degrees during summer practices, coaches are focusing on their athletes health.

“But right now were totally out of business of giving them hydration which is a little scary in the heat in south Alabama. Obviously it’s very humid and very hot and the risk of heat illness is really high down here and we’ve got to stay on top of them about bringing their own water when they come,” Grider said.

Staying hopeful for the future of Wolves football.

“We go to games on the road sometimes where there are not a lot of fans there and it’s a really weird, eerie feeling, usually the game has odd things happen. The fans make the experience, our players especially we feed off our fans and it really means a lot to us, it affects how we play when we have a good crowd behind us. So that will definitely be different if were not allowed to have a full stadium,” Grider said.

The Dothan Wolves football team will kick of their first game August 21st at Rip Hewes Stadium.

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