Youth sports practices resume Monday as COVID-19 restrictions roll back

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As young athletes prepare to get back in action, they acknowledge returning will be a little different.

"Tonight is our first in-person practice," said Megan Pearce, a cross-country skier and soccer player.

"It’s been a little weird because normally I’m pretty active during the winter doing sports and stuff, so it’s been weird just sitting around doing nothing," she said.

There are new rules to follow.

Practices will be limited to 25 people in a pod and no spectators are allowed unless it’s for a young child, someone with a disability or a medical condition.

Also, unless it’s swimming and diving, wrestling, gymnastics or cheerleading, masks are a must.

"I think it’ll be worth it because you can be active and stuff and you can see people," she added.

Her brother, Jacob Pearce, plays baseball and basketball, which starts up Tuesday.

"I think it’ll be hard because basketball is just such a fast-paced game, without masks I’m breathing really heavily, so with a mask, I think it’s going to be really tough," Jacob Pearce said.

MDH: Face coverings required for certain youth sports

Masks have been a topic of discussion.

Armstrong Cooper Boys Hockey Coach Dan Charleston says he’s heard the concerns.

"I think you’re going to have parents and players on one side of ‘You’re going to wear your face mask behind your ears it’s going to cover your nose and mouth and we’re going to be good to go,’ I think you’re going to have another side of it saying ‘You know what, you’re going to do it this way,’" Charleston said.

He says there will be challenges, like rescheduling ice time, but he’s focused on keeping things safe and fun

"I think we have to be grateful for what we have and we have to be excited to be in front of these kids, to be good coaches and teach and learn and guide and discipline and do all the things that we do because we love the game of hockey," Charleston added.

Games and scrimmages can start on Jan. 14.