IF THE HAT FITS: The red light, green light of summer athletics

·2 min read

Jun. 26—We've reached one of the most dreaded parts of summer — the annual dead period.

Starting today and lasting through Independence Day, high school sports teams across Oklahoma will be temporarily shutting down per Oklahoma State Secondary Schools Activities Association rules.

Up until this point, local teams across a variety of sports have been hard at work with team camps, summer pride workouts, or individual skills camps. Sometimes — or a lot of times — multiple events or sessions in a single day.

But now, it's the rest period. However, from what I've seen, our area athletes are going to do anything but rest.

You see, one of the toughest parts of my job is also one of the coolest. I get to witness athletes from more than 12 schools in a multitude of sports put in the work it takes to be successful during the season.

Sure, it can be a lot to keep up with — but the way these young men and women grind day in and day out is easily admirable.

To put it bluntly, you can tell that our area athletes are hungry. And after the last year and a half, who could blame them? Things are as close to normal as they've ever been, and these local teams are seemingly putting in double the work.

Across social media pages, I've seen everything from workout tips coaches give players, to pictures of activities, to motivational posts players give to themselves and their teammates.

So I wouldn't put it past our local athletes to be putting in the work on their own time, continuing to build and get faster, stronger, and better than the previous day.

It makes me excited for the upcoming seasons. Heck, I'm already neck deep in getting started with our annual high school football preview magazine. It's officially moving from the planning stages to the make-it-a-reality stages, and I'm excited for you all to see it when it finally does print.

Plus, official, full-fledged practices will begin next month for multiple sports. So really, there isn't much time between this quiet time and turning things up to 11.

All of that to say, it may be the "dead period," however, it's anything but boring. Sure, there will be a little time taken off, especially for the holiday. But then it's right back in the lab to prepare for the upcoming season — which will be here before we know it.

Contact Derek Hatridge at dhatridge@mcalesternews.com.

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