PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD/WYZZ) — In many cases this summer, high school athletes are doing everything they can to play sports.
That includes wearing masks, sanitzing equipment, practicing in small groups to stay socially distant from teammates.
In some cases teams were sharing workout space with one another for the first time. The student-athletes say it’s real teamwork.
BITE: John Blumeyer/Dee-Mack senior: “I feel like it’s bonding all sports. A lot of these guys don’t play the same sports,” said Deer Creek-Mackinaw senior John Blumeyer.
He’s a basketball player working out with football players.
“We don’t hang out a lot,” Blumeyer said. “But it’s bonding the entire school, to be honest.”
Morton High School moved its weight room into its parking lot. More room for athletes to work out.
“Out here we get to see everyone working together,” said Morton senior Ben Geiger. “It helps build us together, we’re all together and see everyone else putting in the work.”
Limestone volleyball players had to change their course for the team’s typical preseason food-delivery fundraiser. The coronavirus made the team get creative.
“We can’t do other fundraisers because of everything going on,” Limestone senior Jadyn Swan said. “We decided to do a garage sale. It’s been working pretty well.”
It’s another example of how athletes are rallying around each other in the arguably the craziest summer of offseason high school workouts ever.
“We’ve become really resilient and have grown so much through the coronaviru,” said Limestone volleyball coach Paloma Simundic. “Instead of letting it get us down, we’re growing through it.”
Coaches say athletics can teach teenagers more about life than life itself. Especially this summer.
“When you’re not playing sports, you’re not doing those (activities that get you) involved in things bigger than yourself,” said Morton football coach Tim Brilley. “You are really missing out on something special or an opportunity to grow as a human being.”