Oklahoma athletes given more time to prepare with dead week suspension

Local Sports

MIAMI, Okla. — On Tuesday, the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association Board of Directors voted to suspend this summer’s dead period after a nearly 3-month break from organized sports. During a dead period, facilities must be closed, and coaches and athletes can not have contact with one another.

“It did make sense to suspend it,” Miami athletic director Chad Davis said. “I mean we’ve had enough time off, the kids have had enough time off. It’s easy to make that up now by suspending that dead period.”

The decision will help maintain an even playing field, as many larger school districts have had to hold off on starting summer workouts because of the pandemic. Miami was able to start last Monday, and plans to honor the dead week.

“I just think it brings new energy back if you get away from it for a week or so,” Miami head football coach Zach Gardner said. “We’re grinding pretty well right now for four straight weeks, and our numbers have been pretty consistent, running about 160 kids on average 7-12. With our numbers and things, our class size, we’re pretty high percentage of kids being accountable right now and working hard and I think it’s almost a reward for them not to come back that week.”

“With the pandemic going on now, we will use that week to fully sanitize all facilities inside and out again, just like we did prior to when we opened up the facilities for the June 1 date.”

Both Davis and Gardner said facilities will remain open during their week off. Student-athletes will be able to work if they wish, but there will be no scheduled workouts with coaches.

The OSSAA is optimistic fall activities could go forward as planned. But they are looking into alternative scenarios in case more disruptions occur because of coronavirus. Even with the future of fall sports still seemingly up in the air, it’s still just good to be getting back to work.

“It’s just their normal life was interrupted,” Davis said. “I just think knowing that if you take something away you realize what you had. I think that they miss that.”

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