Athletics: Summer workouts begin -- sort of

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Of course, there would be a rain delay.

On the first day in which athletic departments across Minnesota are allowed to once again work with student-athletes, rain forced Wadena-Deer Creek to cancel its first day of workouts Monday, June 15.

W-DC will hold its summer strength and condition Tuesday and Thursday with Friday being a make-up day.

“We’re going to start (Tuesday) and we’ll go from 7-8 a.m. and 8-9 a.m.,” W-DC activities director Norm Gallant said. “We’re really excited to get the kids back together and work with kids. Our coaches have just been excited. We’ve had a few meetings on it and everyone is just ready to get rolling again.”

The Pillager Huskies activities department is offering its bigger, faster, stronger training Monday through Thursday until July 6.


Pequot Lakes will begin its strength and conditioning program July 6.

Despite the forecast, Crosby-Ironton held their morning workouts on the John Davies Football field and track. Ranger football coach Bryan Syrstad said about 30 athletes showed up Monday. He excited a few more to show up for the afternoon session.

“We did some dynamic warmups, speed stuff and change of direction drills,” Syrstad said. “Then we did some bodyweight workouts.”

C-I schools are not open to the public until July so everything the school district does is outside.

W-DC is using the approach, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t concerns.

“I’m anxious about keeping social distancing and things like that,” Gallant said. “It’s a concern, but we’re not using any equipment to start out with so everything will be bodyweight. We’re going to use as much of the football complex as we can, including the track and the stadium stairs. We will have two groups. The first group will be around 40 and the second group will be around 50 students. We’ve got lots of space out there where we can spread them out.

“It’s just keeping them apart when they get there and keeping the apart when they leave. Teenage kids are social creatures and especially middle-school kids. They can barely keep their hands off each other in the classroom. That’s definitely a concern. We have to retrain the kids to follow the rules, whether you like them or not.”

C-I’s workout sessions are Mondays and Wednesdays at 8 a.m. and then another session at 6 p.m.


“It’s awesome to work with kids again,” Syrstad said. “It’s a big part of our job as teachers and coaches to connect with kids and doing things with them. It’s a good start. Hopefully, we can start to do more after the Fourth of July weekend. Hopefully, things start to open up more.

“It was just awesome to see kids we don’t normally get to see and interact with them like we did through a screen for distance learning.”

Syrstad and a handful of other C-I coaches are offering the workout sessions for free.

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Covering the Brainerd lakes area sports scene for the past 23 years.
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