BUTTE — For every high school football coach, player and staff member, tackling the day-by-day logistics to ensure proper safety measures will very much be a work in progress. Social distancing is the cornerstone for every high school’s approach in that regard.
Butte High School has already begun to explore options regarding problems that go beyond just social distancing. With the summer and fall heat still rolling in, head football coach Arie Grey has brought to the forefront an issue that will need to be addressed and monitored when practices start Aug. 14.
“How are we going to make sure kids are bringing water? Are we going to have to buy bottled water just in case a kid forgets it, just so they can at least grab it and have that be their water? Do we have to put names on the bottles of water?" asked Grey. "What do we need to do to make sure that we’re safe and we’re protecting our kids and our coaches because that’s the most important thing.”
Butte High’s athletic director, Chuck Merrifield, will meet with the Silver Bow Health Department on Friday to devise a plan that will hopefully answer many of those questions. But, regardless of what is put into place, coach Grey stressed the importance of everyone doing their part to ensure progress keeps moving forward.
“Not just here, but when we go home, and how are we doing things when we go home? Are we making sure we’re social distancing when we’re out in the public? Are we making sure we’re not sharing water bottles? Are we making sure we’re taking care of our bodies? That’s where we keep preaching to the kids to make sure they’re doing the right things outside of the football field," Grey added. "We can control a window of their day, but they have to make sure they control the rest of their day.”
And with the possibility of Naranche Stadium not able to be filled to full capacity come game day, another wrinkle of responsibility gets thrown onto the players shoulders.
“We’ll tell the kids ‘Hey, you’ve got to bring the energy. It’s on you. If you want excitement, the sideline is going to have to bring the energy,' and we tell that to our kids every year: 'If you want the crowd to get going, then go make a play,” Grey said.