These days, among the continuing COVID-19 virus concerns, simple things — like getting out in the fresh air, moving around and interacting with other humans — can lift spirits.


That seemed to be the case for the Stephenville High School Yellow Jackets and Honeybees as they finally were able to begin optional offseason workouts for all school sports starting Monday, June 8, at Henderson Junior High School, under statewide guidelines recently announced by the University Interscholastic League.


“It’s an unbelievable start to spring conditioning for both the Jackets and the Honeybees,” SISD Athletic Director Jerod Womack said. “We love their attitude, and we look forward to the kids being with their teammates and coaches throughout the summer.”


SHS head football coach Sterling Doty and his assistants will continue to lead their student-athletes through morning drills Monday through Friday at the junior high. Weight lifting, also adhering to social distancing and sanitizing, is also being conducted at Henderson. Sports-specific supervised training is also allowed by the UIL, one hour per day.


The SHS boys and girls student-athletes are utilizing Lem Brock Field, as well as the other practice fields at Henderson.


“We have had on average 140 boys and 90 girls at strength and conditioning workouts this first week,” Doty noted. “All the coaches are very pleased with the turnout and the effort of our athletes.”


The UIL allowed limited workouts for student-athletes of all sports to start on June 8. Schools are instructed to abide by COVID-19 precautions and guidelines regarding social distancing and sanitizing contact surfaces. The authorized workouts include strength and conditioning, as well as limited sport-specific instruction with the coaches.


Optional weight training is allowed, but work stations must have the proper social distancing. Locker rooms and showers at schools remain closed for now.


Texas public schools missed out on normal offseason sports workouts after the UIL announced in April that it was canceling all remaining sports activities for the 2019-20 school year.


“It has been so good to be back around our kids,” Doty stated. “The coaching staff and athletes have done a great job adopting to the regulations in place to keep our kids healthy and preparing for the fall.”