By Ray Hamill — The Fortuna High boys and girls basketball programs will begin restricted practice on Monday after being given the all-clear again.
New varsity boys head coach Norm Sotomayor gave his players the news earlier this week and said the response was immediate and emphatic.
“I sent the message out and my phone was just blowing up,” Sotomayor said. “They’re chomping at the bit to get back in the gym.”
The practices will last 45 minutes and will be restricted to just eight players and two coaches a session, with separate basketballs and hoops for each player.
All players and coaches will also be required to wear facial coverings and maintain social distancing.
“The kids are willing to do that so they can participate,” Sotomayor said.
The girls will also begin restricted practices on Monday, although the Fortuna football team will not begin practice yet.
The Ferndale Wildcats are also expected to resume some sports activity soon, with in-person classes beginning at the high school on Monday.
According to Ferndale athletic director Clint McClurg, the Cats coaches will consider exactly what to do as soon as they adjust to being back in school.
“Absolutely you have to have some physical activity in your life,” said McClurg, who expects to have some type of strength and conditioning program up and running for all their student athletes soon. “We’re navigating this. It’s about being fluid.”
It’s also about the student athletes’ mental health.
“That social interaction is critical,” McClurg added. “We care about the kids and their mental well being. “
Sotomayor echoed the sentiment and expects to have non-basketball players coming out for practice this week as well, just so they can get back to some sports activity.
“We’ll take anybody who wants to show up,” the boys coach said.