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Players required to wear masks in OU football’s split season

By Brynden Grow
On August 28, 2020

Photo courtesy of @OttawaUFootball, Twitter

In this two-part story, we will first be covering how masks are required to be worn during practice. Stay tuned for next week’s story on how the split season is working for the team. With COVID-19 affecting almost all things this semester, the Ottawa University football team has gone through some drastic changes to be able to play this season. 


The Kansas Athletic Collegiate Conference (KCAC) released a statement on the return to play for fall sports Aug. 11, 2020. From that statement, “We believe the time is right to return to play this fall, albeit in this altered timeframe. We will continue to take all necessary steps to protect everyone in the game environment and adhere to all safety measures required by state and local governments within the four-state region comprising the conference."


Football was allowed to start practice on Aug. 15. One of the measures put into place to protect the players was to require masks being worn under helmets during practice. 


When asked about if the masks were a pain, junior DB Devin Johnston says, “It’s just something new that we all have to adjust to. Things can get frustrating because of the limitations that we have. I believe that our coaching staff has done a great job so far on implementing and enforcing rules to keep us safe so that we can have a season.” 


Junior defensive end Aaron Schoemann claims wearing a mask has not affected his performance. 


“Personally, the mask doesn’t bother me as much as I thought it would,” he says. “Yes, it keeps me from being able to breathe fully but not as bad as I thought.” 


Quarterback Bailey Shire says, “I don’t think the masks have affected our ability on the field just because we have gotten used to them very quickly. It is slightly harder to breathe, but, honestly, if it’s harder in practice when we don’t have to wear them in games, we will all be in better shape.”


For more updates on the KCAC requirements due to COVID-19, check out their website 


Remember to wear your masks, wash your hands and to stay safe, everyone!


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