Javanon practice

Players at Javanon at practice with social distancing and other safety measures in place

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Javanon soccer coach Barnard Baker points out that the club has been around since 1989, but they’ve never had to deal with a summer like this.

"Our goal as coaches is to develop players and win games," Baker said. "But, right now, we’re trying to shift it now to where we’re all happy, healthy and safe and making sure we do it the right way."

The Kentucky Youth Soccer Association laid out a four-phase plan for its members across the state to give them guidelines during the pandemic. Phase 3 of the plan begins Monday, June 29, but still includes the prohibition of scrimmages or games. Those will be allowed in Phase 4, which as of now, has no target date.

In the meantime, Javanon coaches are practicing under the guidelines of social distancing, no contact and smaller groups taking different fields at different times. Baker has transitioned from coaching game strategy to finding a strategy to keep his players safe.

“I have a group of 27, so I break them into three groups of nine, because we are only allowed to have 10 or less and also we’re not allowed for the players to be able to intermix groups. So, my Group A, I can’t have a player from Group A play with Group B at all.”

Other measures include asking parents to take their kids’ temperatures before coming to practice and when they drop the players off, the parents are asked to stay in their vehicles.

When and if Phase 4 is implemented, no doubt the coaches and players will welcome it.

"They want to do high-fives. They want to be with their friends, and we get it. We will be one day but we just want to make sure everybody’s happy and healthy and safe ... and that’s our mantra right now.”

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