GHSA’s ‘dead week’ halts summer workouts across the state

The GHSA officially entered its ‘dead week’ on Sunday and across the state, programs have shut down for the week and are prohibited from holding organized activities, opening facilities and everything is silent.

A traditional ‘dead week’ comes at a time when programs have been working through the dog days of summer and it allows a break for the staff, players and others involved with the program. A traditional ‘dead week’ is typically a welcomed treat.

This ‘dead week’ is far from traditional and is widely not welcomed due to the COVID-19 pandemic that shut down spring sports and summer workouts.

Some programs have enjoyed several weeks of practice and conditioning after the GHSA eased restrictions on practicing. Others have not been able to. DeKalb County schools, for example, did not begin summer workouts until last week and now their programs are again resting.

“We’ve already been down for so long,” said Cedar Grove football coach Miguel Patrick. “We had this introductory week and then now the ‘dead week’ and we have absolutely no control over it. Some teams have been practicing since early this month but for us, we did not start until (June) 22nd.”

Moving players out of a ‘dead week’ and into the final few weeks of preparation before the season garners some concern from Patrick, as well as others, when it comes to possible problems with the pandemic and recently rising infection numbers in the state and nation.

“You know that’s really the biggest concern,” Patrick said. “You just don’t know when you go places. Everybody is not wearing masks like they are supposed to in certain places. So that growing number of when people are asymptomatic, that is the biggest, biggest concern of mine.”

But, with that, Patrick got to business.

“Being that we had one week (of conditioning), after the ‘dead week’ we are going to have to kick it to high gear to prepare for the season.”

And that seems to be the attitude teams are taking into the ‘dead week’: Prepare as safely and cautiously as possible for battle.

The GHSA did not impose any additional changes from its original COVID-19 guidelines leading up to the ‘dead week’ and currently, programs can practice with groups of 50 people with social distancing measures in place.

The state’s reaction has been stop-and-go in the past few weeks. On June 11, Governor Brian Kemp issued an executive order to ease COVID-19 related restrictions. Since then, he announced that there would be no new restrictions across the state as Georgia continues to reopen according to plan.

However, on June 29, Kemp extended the shelter in place for medically fragile citizens until July 15 and extended the public health emergency to August 11. The extension of the emergency grants Kemp sweeping authority to add new restrictions and take other actions to quell the spread of the virus.

While the collective prep world is taking a break, the staff in the control room at ‘Georgia Prep Sports: From a Distance’ is not. The show will not be airing during the ‘dead week’, but we will be preparing a return show on Monday July 6.

The flow of information coming out of the dead week will be immense so be sure to tune in to be brought up to speed with all things Prep Sports related by following the link.

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