Fields and facilities at Central Texas schools have been shut down since mid-March, but starting today athletes can return for optional workouts.

According to News 10, the UIL gave the go-ahead to schools, but they are required to go by certain guidelines, like athletes must be pre-screened for COVID-19 and they must practice in smaller groups.

 "Today is just getting everybody back in shape, back on pace for what we're gonna do in the fall," said Connally senior Kavian Gaither.

Midway head football coach Jeff Hulme says, "It's hard, you know the kids are wanting to be around each other. Athletics is always about being close together, but you know we've got coaches in there spreading them out, keeping them six feet apart and trying to do everything we can."

Locker rooms at the schools will remain closed and the schools cannot provide the students water for now.

"It was a lot of planning. Now we have to go out and follow the guidelines, and I think everything is gonna be okay," said Connally head football coach Shane Anderson.

Athletes can practice for conditioning a maximum on only two hours per day Monday through Friday.  The teams will be able to get some extra time for sport-specific instruction.

I sure hope all the players and coaches stay safe and we're able to have teams compete this fall.

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