Sierra Canyon begins socially distant practice with no football

Sierra Canyon quarterback Chayden Peery crouched at midfield like he was under center with a towel in his hand. His voice echoed early Monday morning “Go!”, which cued wideouts DJ Harvey, Donovan Williams and Terrell Long to run full speed into their routes.

Peery dropped back turned and executed a throwing motion. The Georgia Tech commit was throwing an invisible football.

“It was definitely weird,” Peery said. “Even in our walk throughs I usually have a football in my hand that I casually toss. (Today) I folded up a towel and held that just so I could feel something.”

Harvey pretended to catch the invisible ball.

“It was awkward,” Harvey said. “But we’re still able to work on technique.”

It’s the new norm due to COVID-19, which forced CIF to create socially distant guidelines for high school football programs statewide. Athletes must be in groups no larger than 10, stay six feet apart, and can’t share any equipment, including a football. Essentially, the practices are for conditioning, with a little bit of X’s and O’s, which have been illustrated via Zoom calls since March.

Each athlete filled out a COVID-19 questionnaire and had their temperature checked before getting onto the football field. Some of the questions ask if the athlete has experiencing a fever, has a cough or been tested for the virus in the past 14 days.

Sierra Canyon offensive coordinator Mark Servé led the first group of the day with a mask on while head coach Jon Ellinghouse stood at midfield all day to oversee the eight groups, each designated its own coach.

The CIF office is schedule to make an official decision regarding fall sports by July 20.

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