Coaches address concerns with upcoming GHSA football season

Published: Jul. 21, 2020 at 6:16 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - The fall football season has officially taken shape in the CSRA, at least from a scheduling stand point However, there are still questions that go beyond when and where.

Scheduling is one thing, protocols are another. Right now, schedules are the only thing that have clear path in Georgia and a fluid one for SCHSL member schools. However, programs don’t have protocols in the event of a positive case or facing an opponent that’s seen a positive case.

"Safety is the key thing and I think if they actually look at how that works for all that are involved and we can work it to where it is safe, I'm all in for it. But if the safety part is not a protocol that's really intact and in place, I'm just a little concerned for me," said Grovetown head coach Damien Postell.

Those protocols will hopefully be established soon. That would be welcomed news for programs that have signed contracts to compete against specific opponent in the event that games can't happen. This also hasn't been a normal off season. That's another concern for coaches.

"I'm fine with it (the full season delayed by 2 weeks). I understand the dynamics that we've got to deal with. The biggest thing for me, more than the virus itself, and I know it's done a lot for us, is just getting the kids acclimated to the heat," said Evans head coach Lemuel Lackey.

The next issue that gets run into is two sport athletes. The GHSA currently plans to hold state finals in football from December 28th through December 30th. For a team that makes a run to the state title game, those two sport athletes may not pick up their second sport until it's nearly 2021. That could really hurt some programs.

"Just incorporating everybody's level, not just from the bigger schools that don't need as many kids to play in 2 sports. You have smaller schools that really, really rely on it," Postell continued.

Starting practice wasn't pushed back and pads can be worn starting August 1st. Camp is one of the hardest parts of football, but it's still part of having a season.

"They're not happy about extra practice, but at the same time, they're happy that their season: especially the seniors, I know it's important for a lot of the guys that are coming up, that are thinking about playing at the next level, they want to get seen," Lackey finished.

All four leagues have not made any decisions on fans. State guidelines will likely play a role in determining how many people could be allowed at games, though it may also be a district by district decision.

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