Sports teams practice for 20 contact days

Offseason sports are currently under a 20 day contract practice where they have 20 days of practice being all together as allowed through the Illinois High School Association.

Contact days are classified as any time the team gets together as if that’s on the field or in a classroom for a team meeting. IHSA’s main goal for athletes is to get back to normal in sports as soon as possible, but making sure being a student comes first as Grayslake North is still in remote learning. Assistant athletic director and varsity boys and girls soccer coach Adam DeCaluwe is very much involved in the 20 day contact practices issued by IHSA. As a coach, he said that practices have been more socially distant. 

“Practices are more individual and by position. Groups remain socially distant. If spreading it, it would be worse, and contact days, offseason practices have not been spreading in Grayslake North. Although (we are) not able to work on strategy, but (we are) able to touch a ball and get away from the Zoom sessions,” DeCaluwe said. 

Track coach Elena Armata is another coach involved in the 20 day contact practices. Her main goal is to rebuild the athlete’s base health mentally and physically.  Practices have seen high-intensity cardio and workouts even though partner workouts have been restricted and instead been individual workouts.

“We have been holding each other accountable as a team during the offseason continuing to create our culture,” Armata said.

Armata knows that making the most of these practices building the culture will lead to success heading into winter track and then continuing it to the summer in season.

Long time varsity offensive lineman Jack Sisson has been attending the 20 day contact practices during the offseason for football. For football, losing their fall season as they are supposed to be playing now instead of February, has really stunted their mojo going into the season. 

“During football, practices are split up in groups by positions and age group. We go over our basic running and passing plays, but can’t go into the playbook. Even though it’s February, all the guys want a season and just want to play,” Sisson said.