Belvidere North basketball team adjusts to safety protocols


BELVIDERE, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF) — Most high school sports teams are still pressing on with summer workouts and practices despite the large cloud of uncertainty hovering over high school sports for this coming school year. One of those teams is the Belvidere North basketball team.

The Blue Thunder will be taking the court for team practices three times this week. 17 varsity players showed up at this practice with masks now a requirement.

“It’s a lot of difference (wearing a mask) when you’re running all up and down the court, but at the end of the day it’s, you’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do,” said Belvidere North basketball player Aaron Winters.

“Our kids have been really good,” said head coach Todd Brannan. “Every eight to ten minutes, especially when we’re, you know, kind of getting up and down the floor a little bit, we can’t do anything contactwise, but if it’s kind of an up-tempo type drill we make them go get water, go outside where they can take their masks off. The kids have been awesome as far as dealing with the circumstances.”

Early last week Belvidere North began hosting scrimmages with other area schools, but those are no longer allowed since the IHSA tightened safety precautions late Thursday, so teams aren’t getting in their ususal summertime game action, but there is an upside to these scaled back workouts, especially for young teams like the Blue Thunder. They have only three seniors.

“This has been a good opportunity for us,” said Brannan. “I mean these are certain things we can do, alright, so let’s be all-in on these as far as the weight room and skill development and so from that standpoint it has been good.”

Brannan admits it is unsettling though not knowing what’s going to happen with high school sports even beyond next week.

“It’s very unsettling. I think high school sports they provide a tremendous opportunity for kids, and the extra-curricular activities are a huge part of high school. It seems like every week it’s (the latest virsus stats and guidelines) something new, and then lately everything’s been kind of negative.”

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