Pushing through: Local athletes take to Twitter to stay active during COVID-19 outbreak

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Southeast Whitfield High School's Ethan Hill takes part in a social media push-up challenge.

With schools shut down and athletic facilities closed off during the outbreak of the new coronavirus (COVID-19), local athletes Ethan Hill and Cade Petty took to a different forum to stay active: social media.

The Southeast Whitfield High School and North Murray High School football players recently participated in a Twitter push-up challenge.

"When I saw the post, I thought I might as well do something to get some training in," Hill said. "After doing about 1,000 push-ups, I was seeing results. I kept doing more and more push-ups. I felt like it did a really good job of keeping kids active."

Late last month, a popular Twitter account for high school football news in Northwest Georgia, @NwGaFootball, posted the rules for a push-up contest. Players at local high schools would have to send in videos to the account of them doing push-ups. A few days — and some 1,600 push-ups each — later, Hill and Petty were declared co-winners.

"I saw the push-up challenge two days late, so I got started two days after everybody did," Petty said. "I guess I did that over four or five days."

Hill said he was proud to share the crown with another local athlete.

"We'll be competing next season, and it kind of gave us a little competition to get us started off," Hill said.

The social media contest is not the only form of exercising the two get to do while they are isolated from teammates and facilities. Hill, who is set to play quarterback in the fall at Southeast, throws the ball with his dad to keep his arm in practice.

"I've been doing some things with a resistance band as well," Hill said. "I'm trying to get my speed up and get a little bit quicker. I'll probably just keep doing that until we're able to go out a little more."

"I'll lift in the mornings around 7 or 7:30," Petty said. "Then I'll run in the evenings and do ab workouts before I got to bed."

Petty transferred to North Murray from Murray County High School just before the suspension of school last month. While he plays catch-up academically via the school's distance learning, Petty prepares for his senior football season this fall with his new teammates.

"The football team has done a really good job of taking me in and showing me the ropes and everything. School is probably the hardest part to get acclimated to, changing units and everything."

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