Mishawaka head football coach Keith Kinder back on the practice field after testing positive for COVID-19

Indiana high schools had first day of football practice
Published: Aug. 3, 2020 at 7:27 PM EDT
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MISHAWAKA, Ind. (WNDU) - Mishawaka head football coach Keith Kinder knows all about COVID-19.

“I know how real it is for so many people,” Kinder said.

He tested positive for the virus back on July 17th.

“You could do everything right and it’s still possible you don’t escape the virus effecting your life,” Kinder said.

Even after wearing a mask and following the St. Joe Department of Health protocols, Kinder still tested positive and missed two weeks of workouts leading up to the first day of practice.

“I have a huge fear of missing out on something,” Kinder said. “When our coaches were here working out with our players and I wasn’t able to be here, that was really tough.

Right now, Kinder knows coaching high school football is tough during a global pandemic. It's not just about X's and O's but preaching to the players about being mindful on and off the field.

“The social distance thing has been a big thing we have harped on,” Kinder said. “Gotta stay away from people.”

Despite the constant message, Kinder believes no high school football team will be able to completely avoid the virus.

“It’s going to effect every program,” Kinder said. “It’s a matter of, do we handle these cases with a consistency? Do we have a clear guideline on a return and clear response? Fortunately, I believe we do at Mishawaka.”

Kinder says his No. 1 goal at Mishawaka, is to make sure they do whatever it takes to play high school football safely, no matter how different the 2020 season will look.

“The ultimate goal is that our kids get to experience Friday nights,” Kinder said. “It’s still going to be football in between the white lines. As long as our kids get to experience that then whatever else they tell us to do, we’ll do, just to have a chance for that to happen.”

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