Rudy Rangel

The Colony head football coach Rudy Rangel watches pregame workouts.

As the number of positive coronavirus tests continues to rise in Texas, The Colony head football coach and boys athletic coordinator Rudy Rangel isn’t taking any chances. The safety of the student-athletes remains paramount.

In fact, he’s thinking ahead.

In anticipation of possible measures to shut down more businesses, and perhaps school athletic facilities, by Gov. Greg Abbott and the University Interscholastic League, The Colony will trade in-person workouts with live virtual sessions. This change applies to all sports.

“We’ve had some situations here at the high school that we’re trying to work through, but that’s the safest thing, I feel like for the program, is to take a little hiatus,” Rangel said. “Since we’ve had that natural break coming with Fourth of July, it made a lot of sense to try the format of the virtual stuff. I’m anticipating the government and the UIL shutting down some stuff anyways, so we want to have this version in place.”

The plan calls for The Colony to have virtual workouts this week on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, then take a pause for the Fourth of July holiday, before resuming activities on July 9.

“With the [coronavirus] numbers spiking, we’re going to try to do everything that we can to keep kids away from here and actually still keep working them out,” Rangel said.

The schedule calls for the Cougars to work out from 9-10 a.m. with the coaches monitoring and recording the workouts of their student-athletes, giving everyone involved with the ability to interact on a live platform.

The only downside of going virtual is The Colony will have to temporarily shelve football-related skills.

“We went virtual a little during the quarantine, but not live with our kids, so this way, we can see our kids live,” Rangel said. “We have a safe Webex program that our district uses that we can record, and we’re trying like crazy to do all of that stuff.”

First-year head volleyball coach Rachel Buckley is providing instruction on high-intensity workouts over the virtual platform.

“Right now, we’re doing burpees, circuit training, running,” she said. “They were doing great when we were in the gym. They were working hard. Right now, I get to interact with them live like we were all in the Brady Bunch.”

Summer workouts have been a success at The Colony, even before the Cougars went virtual – 270 Cougars showed up to the live June 25 session, which is the high attendance mark of the summer.

“My kids are phenomenal,” Rangel said. “It’s been really, really airtight up here. It’s just inevitable that something is going to happen, because there are so many kids up here. I could tell with the hundreds of schools across Texas, it’s just inevitable. When you have 400 people, you’re going to have a case. The numbers aren’t in your favor. We’re excited how the kids have done. The effort has been amazing.”

With weights needed for some portions of the daily workout, Rangel has called the UIL office to ask if student-athletes are allowed to check out equipment from the school’s weight-lifting room.

“We’re working on that,” he said. “I’ve called the UIL to see if we can check out a 45-pound weight, or what we can do. Some of the stuff that we’re doing right now is full bodyweight. We’ve put some kids through this in anticipation of these virtual workouts, the bodyweight stuff.

“Right now, we’re working on a version of our workout with a 15-minute dynamic stretch and run, 15-minute body weight workout, 20-minute ab workout. Then, we’ll end the workout with a run of some sort, whatever we normally do. Even with the kids at their house, we’re still able to get everything in. And we’ll alter anybody who has equipment. We’re still waiting to hear back if we’re allowed to check out weights.”

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