2020 | Sports

MCPS football coaches push for in-person workouts to resume

Letter says prohibiting team exercise unfair, unhealthy

Twenty-four of Montgomery County’s 25 public high school football coaches on Monday sent a letter to county and school district officials, urging them to allow in-person workouts.

The coaches’ letter, sent to the school board and County Executive Marc Elrich, says prohibiting workouts and conditioning harms students’ mental and physical health.

Additionally, they wrote that it is inequitable because some students can afford private training services and others can’t. They also contend that the risk of injury will be higher in the spring, when MCPS expects to allow athletics to resume, if students go too long without proper training.

“Athletes who participate in football have essentially been left to fend for themselves as it relates to training and skill development,” the coaches wrote. “While there are some athletes who can afford to pay for services related to training and skill development, the overall majority of athletes cannot. Therefore, we need to give football players and all athletes within MCPS athletics opportunities to train with their high school coaches and teammates.”

The letter is signed by almost all of the MCPS high school football coaches. Springbrook’s coach, the only coach who did not sign the letter, couldn’t be reached for comment on Monday.

The coaches urged MCPS to allow optional in-person training, if teams abide by COVID-19 guidelines.

On Sept. 24, Gov. Larry Hogan and state Superintendent of Schools Karen Salmon announced that school districts could begin allowing high school sports practices on Oct. 7.

They said school districts should “as soon as possible, provide conditioning and training opportunities” for student athletes.

But at the time, MCPS said it will not participate to “ensure the health and safety of students.”

Instead, teams are allowed to meet virtually and MCPS plans to reinstate in-person sports in the spring.

Caitlynn Peetz can be reached at caitlynn.peetz@bethesdamagazine.com