WOODLAND HILLS, Calif. - It may not seem like much, but it's one big step towards a return to some degree of COVID-19 normalcy.
Student-athletes from LAUSD were out on the field and in the sun, with coaches whistles blowing, doing drills. At Taft High School, senior quarterback Ayan Dutt told me he felt blessed to back out with his ''family."
Coach Aaron Gideon says, ''structure is key.''
If you're used to watching a football team practice, (games are still far off), this was not it. It was more accurately described as conditioning, or organized exercising. Players are outside, 15 feet apart (no masks, but per state and county guidelines, they are not required during that part of the workout) doing running, stretching, cross-over, skip steps, side to side and a lot of different exercises.
None of it involved running a play, hitting or tackling. In fact, no equipment is allowed.
COVID-19 tests were required, as well as screenings and routine physicals. Everyone's being careful. During our interviews, the masks were back on.
Even Los Angeles Dodger-masked LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner paid a visit to the school and spent some time out on the field, asking, "What can we do to make it better?" He's pleased that strict safety protocols and planning have gotten the district to this point, though there's still no firm idea of if or when most classes will resume.