MOUNT VERNON — Skagit Valley College athletes will be back in action — of sorts — later this month.

Though the seasons for most sports won't begin until at least January, Skagit Valley College athletes will be able to take part in on-campus workouts beginning later this month, with the workouts limited to five athletes per coach. 

The workout window is Sept. 22 through Nov. 20. Student-athletes will be required to self-quarantine for two weeks leading up to the workouts, and will need to undergo safety checks each day.

Workouts for the different sports will be staggered to avoid a large number of athletes in the same area at once. 

Women's basketball coach Deb Castle said she's excited to have the opportunity to interact with her players, whose season is scheduled to begin in February.

"I'm excited to get them and they're excited," she said. "When we have our Zoom meetings, they're excited, they're chomping at the bit."

Castle said the limitations are forcing adjustments on her part. She said she's been watching videos of individual drills she could have her players do instead of five-on-five scrimmages.

"These kids, after two weeks are going to want to play five-on-five and we can't. We'll have to make competitions (out of drills)," she said.

Athletic Director Mitch Freeman said the workouts should engage the school's student-athletes while protecting their safety. 

“We believe we have created a plan for our coaches and students to connect, support and work with one another. Additionally, we remain flexible and are prepared to change this approach as needed to keep our students, coaches and campus community safe," he said in a news release.

College President Tom Keegan sounded a similar note. He said in an an interview before the changes were announced that safety will govern all decisions, but student engagement would be considered too.

"In these times, we want to get them as close to the (college) experience as they can expect," he said.

The only sport to have a fall season will be golf.

The men's and women's teams, which traditionally play in the fall then resume play in the spring, are scheduled for their first competition Sept. 14 at Grays Harbor College. The Cardinals will practice at Avalon Golf Links north of Burlington. 

— Reporter Trevor Pyle: 360-416-2156, tpyle@skagitpublishing.com, Twitter: @Sports_SVH, Facebook.com/bytrevorpyle

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