ROCK HILL, S.C. — We’re just hours away from another Friday Night Frenzy and just as important as protecting players on the field, schools are taking major steps to protect them inside the locker room from MRSA and other harmful bacteria.
One of those is South Pointe High School in Rock Hill, where they have two locker rooms with 80 lockers in each.
Let’s start with Athletic Director Mike Drummond for what the coaches and athletic department are responsible for: each day after practice or a game, they wipe down the helmets and shoulder pads and wash every piece of each player’s uniform.
“This is all three football teams: 9th grade, JV and varsity,” Drummond said. “You’re talking about roughly 150 kids.”
And there are about 20 coaches on the whole staff.
Custodial Director Michael Cox, who has two contracted companies helping with sanitation here, says the custodians are responsible for cleaning the lockers and the locker room floors. There are also soap and disinfecting products in dispensers in the bathrooms, as well as a hefty cleaning regiment for the shower area.
“You can mop on a daily basis, but what you really need to do at least once a week is hose everything down,” Cox said.
He’s even got a custodial handbook for the Rock Hill school district with instructions.
“Not only their task of when to do it, but we break down their task of how to do it,” Cox said.
Including the expectations and standards that need to be met.
“If our taxpayers are expecting this, they’re paying for it, then we’re going to give it to them,” Cox said.
Avoiding getting sick and spreading of things like MRSA or the flu throughout the football team and school is the main concern. Cox says they urge parents and students to communicate any health concerns right away.
“Then we can move forward and make sure we take care of that child and the other children that are around them,” Cox said.
It’s a thorough process and one that the school district takes a lot of pride in. Cox says he has three pieces of advice for the players: wash your hands, wash your hands and wash your hands.
The district also installed fans a few years ago to help with any odor from the equipment or cleaning materials.