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Welcome back summer workouts

In her latest amendment to the safer-at-home order on Thursday, May 21, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey announced athletic activities can resume for team sports starting at 5 p.m. on Friday, May 22.

“Youth sports and other athletic events are going to be allowed on a gradual basis starting when this health order takes effect tomorrow night,” State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris said in the press conference. “There will be practices, conditioning and drills for youth sports.”

Originally, the Alabama High School Athletic Association said June 8 was their planned date to allow high schools to resume summer workouts and conditioning, but shortly after Ivey’s press conference, they too said high school athletics in the state can resume on June 1.

This is another in a list of optimistic signs that life as we once knew it is on its way back. Sports were one of the first activities to be restricted when the COVID-19 crisis unraveled in the United States and one of the biggest questions to date on when and how it should return.

Some sports have returned without fans in attendance such as NASCAR and Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), while others are trying to figure out the best way to bring back their respective sports.

College football will see the beginning of summer workouts in June as well and that may very well open the floodgates for the National Football League, Major League Baseball and the other major sports leagues.

For most student-athletes, this is usually the time of the season they dread, workouts in the intense heat while their friends are at home relaxing in the air condition. This year though, summer workouts might mean a little more and be a welcome change from what they have become accustomed to.

We have watched this COIVD-19 crisis from many different angles at this newspaper and the return of high school sports was one of a few question marks we had in moving out of this pandemic.

We are happy to see the light at the end of the tunnel and hope the beginning of summer workouts means we get to stand on the sidelines again on Friday nights in the fall.