The Centennial boys tennis team won the City League championship last season with a 4-1 win over West.

Whether the Stars will have a chance to defend their title is in doubt with Ohio schools closed and spring sports on hold because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

To stay ready in case spring teams get the go-ahead to compete, coach Barbara Stevenson suggested her athletes do some training at home, if they can.

"I suggested that they do all the exercises we (normally) do for conditioning," she said.

That has been a theme across the state, as spring sports athletes have worked the past few weeks to stay on top of their games as much as possible as they await an update from Gov. Mike DeWine and the OHSAA.

An initial three-week closing of Ohio schools ends Friday, April 3. The OHSAA has instituted a no-contact period, but coaches are allowed to send their athletes suggested workouts.

The earliest the spring regular season could begin under the initial ruling is April 11, but the timetable would be altered if the reopening of schools is further delayed.

Update: DeWine announced March 30 that schools will remain closed through May 1.

Senior Andrew Smith said he has been trying to take the lead on training for the boys tennis team while everyone is at home.

"I'm trying to get our players together and we're just going to work on stretches and play tennis, and just do different exercises coach gives me, because she can't actually be there," he said. "Also, we've told our players to stretch on their own and practice different things."

Sophomore pitcher Kassy Stefanski, who batted a team-best .442 and had a 1.10 ERA in 83 innings as a freshman for the softball team, said she's been trying to keep herself busy through training.

"I've been doing some pitching and hitting drills every day to make sure I still have that form and that I'm ready if we do go back," she said. "And I've also been doing exercises to keep my body in shape so I don't have any dips in athleticism."

She also has been getting exercises from her pitching coach. Those focus on arm strength as well as lower body and core strength.

"It's a little hard (to do drills and exercises at home) because there's not a huge amount of space I have to be able to do them," Stefanski said. "And I also don't have as much gym equipment and weights to be able to go up to the weight I could do at the gym."

In his third season as Watterson track and field coach, Adam Kessler also has seen his personal business affected by the coronavirus.

In 1998, he founded Fitness Planning Consultants, which strives to help students and adults reach fitness goals.

"We've been shut down since (March 16) and we're doing virtual workouts," he said.

Kessler's junior daughter, Anna Kessler, competes for the Eagles' girls track team.

"We use a team app, which is where we do all of our communications," coach Kessler said. "I've uploaded workouts for our sprinters, and our distance coaches have put in some workouts for the kids as well. There's been a good core of our kids who have been doing them. Some of the kids are going by themselves. It's a weird, crazy time and you just don't know.

"Most coaches realize that ... (the state) will probably extend (the school closure) some more. I'd like to be optimistic, but we have to wait and see. That's what you keep telling the kids. As of now, they've not canceled the season, so you need to continue to run and do what you need to do if we do get the green light so that you'll be in reasonable shape and not hurt yourself."

Will McKinney, who has coached the Africentric girls basketball team to eight state titles, was about to begin his eighth season as the Nubians' boys tennis coach.

Several of his players also play on the boys basketball team at the school.

"Most of them are my (physical education) students," McKinney said. "I've just told them to be safe, enjoy the outdoor life ... do some sit-ups and pull-ups and be active. Stay positive (and) don't let this stuff overwhelm you too much."

ThisWeek reporter Jarrod Ulrey contributed to this story.

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