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MacArthur, Eisenhower allowed to begin voluntary workouts on Monday
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MacArthur, Eisenhower allowed to begin voluntary workouts on Monday

Eisenhower practice 1

Eisenhower football players practice last season. MacArthur and Eisenhower teams got the green light to begin strength and conditioning practices on Monday. 

DECATUR — On Friday, MacArthur and Eisenhower High Schools received the green light to begin voluntary workouts, according to Decatur Public Schools Athletic Coordinator Joe Caputo.

Though other schools in Macon County, including Mount Zion and Maroa-Forsyth, began voluntary workouts at the beginning of the week, DPS schools had been waiting for approval before beginning. Eisenhower football coach Steve Thompson said the team will begin workouts on Monday.

"The few days isn't going to make that big a difference on what's going on," Thompson said. "We're all just in basically a conditioning phase of this anyway to get our kids back acclimated before we actually start any team activities."

MacArthur football coach Derek Spates was OK with waiting if that meant it was the safest approach to getting his players back to workouts.

"My whole approach is let's take the wait-and-see approach," Spates said. "The district is going to decide when we do it and I'm going to support what they do to make sure our student-athletes and our students are safe. I was perfectly fine with it. I had a feeling we were going to start sooner than later. Everybody had to make sure they were for the best interest of all the parties involved."

Members of the DPS administration along with internal health and services staff and the Macon County Health Department reviewed and approved the plan on operating workouts on Friday, Caputo said. 

Though some high school and college athletes have spent the days since the COVID-19 pandemic shut sports down in mid-March finding creative ways to stay in shape, Thompson is operating under the baseline assumption that players haven't been working out.

It's easier, he said, to start from the beginning.

"We're just going to start it from the basics of nobody has been working to this point and go from there," Thompson said, "that's probably our best course."

Contact Joey Wagner at (217) 421-6970. Follow him on Twitter: @mrwagner25

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