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Students to start drills and practices for fall sports at Jim Thorpe Area School

The school district worked alongside Lehigh Valley Health Network to come up with a COVID-19 safety plan.

JIM THORPE, Pa. — Some student-athletes from Carbon County are about to get back on the field.

Jim Thorpe Area School Board approved a plan last week to start drills and practices beginning on July 1.

Athletes will begin practicing in small groups outside.  They are encouraged to stay 6 feet apart when feasible and sports equipment will be disinfected as much as possible.

"Before they even step on to the field, they will certainly have that temperature check, questions, and of course we're going to have a very clean environment and sterile," Jim Thorpe Area Superintendent John Rushefski said.

Kristin Pompa is on the high school's volleyball team.  She is looking forward to doing drills again with her teammates, even with these new changes.

"Because we can't be so close together, we're doing our own ball-control drills, so we're going to bring our own ball and instead of passing with a partner, we're going to pass with ourselves for the first little bit," said Pompa, whose father Scott Pompa is on Jim Thorpe's school board.

Lehigh Valley Health Network worked alongside the school district to come up with a 30-page plan; Pompa felt confident in it.

"I think it's very comprehensive and very detailed and I believe that they do have the best interest of our student-athletes at hand here," Scott Pompa said.

The school district is allowing fans to watch competitions, but they must stay 6 feet apart, wear a mask, and the crowd has to be under 250 people.

"We're going to see what that looks like with that 250 capacity, especially for a sport like football, it's going to be difficult. I would imagine some other sports that threshold may be easier to meet," Rushefski said.

"I think it's important to get us back because athletics are so important in memories and just your high school experience overall," Kristin Pompa said.

Rushefski said there is already a set schedule for fall sports competitions.  The school district plans to stick to that schedule as long as it is safe.

You can find the full rules to the school's new plan on this page under JTASD-LHVN Guidelines for Resocialization into Sports.

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