Reed City football practice: No pads, no helmets, just tires

Pushing and pulling tires remains a key component of Reed City football conditioning. (Herald Review file photo)

Pushing and pulling tires remains a key component of Reed City football conditioning. (Herald Review file photo)

REED CITY -- They aren't permitted to wear pads, helmets or engage in any hitting drills with their teammates.

Entering the weight room is off limits, socially distant sanitization is compulsory, and as the onset of the 2020 high-school football season inches its way closer, players and coaches are left with more uncertainty than concrete information.

Football programs across the region have had to improvise to make the best of the current situation while keeping their student-athletes fit and ready to go.

Since they were given the proverbial green light to begin summer workouts and conditioning, Scott Shankel and his Reed City Coyotes hit the ground running.

For the last month, Shankel's team has been conducting twice-a-day outdoor tire workout drills and activities to keep active and in shape.

"We're getting good numbers each day so I can't complain," Shankel said. "I think the kids are ready to get back to doing something normal. Being out of school as long as they were, I think they've been ready to embrace some type of exercise."

Despite the return to getting back outside and establishing the tire workout routines, Shankel said both he and his players would like to be able to get back into the weight room for more traditional preseason preparation.

As it stands, the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) is putting its emphasis on social-distancing and has disallowed student-athletes and coaches from entering school facilities or engaging in direct competition with other schools or themselves.

"They're happy to be here -- don't get me wrong," Shankel said. "I think they want to start doing football-related stuff."

RC senior Payton Hansen said he, too, would like to be able lift some actual weights inside the school's weight room.

Until then, dragging tires and lifting concrete-filled spackle buckets will be the modus operandi for himself and his teammates.

"It's definitely frustrating," Hansen said. "It's my senior year and I want to put in as much work as I can. I just want to make the most out of it."

As it stands, team training camps are scheduled to begin on Aug. 10.

RC is supposed to begin the 2020 season with an away game against Cadillac at 7 p.m. on Aug. 27.