TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — On Friday the Florida High School Athletic Association's Board of Directors meets to decide the fate of high school fall sports.
Will they play? Will the season be pushed back?
There are three options on the table for fall athletics.
Option one: Fall sports begin on September 4, practices begin on August 24 with a ten-week long season.
Option two: Delay the start of the season until December 11, with practices beginning on Nov. 30. It would condense the season into five weeks and also delay the start of winter and spring sports, whose seasons would also be condensed.
Option three: October 23 is the start date for the season with practices beginning Oct. 12. Winter sports wouldn't start until January, spring sports would start in April.
Governor Ron DeSantis as well as Senator Marco Rubio have expressed their support for playing fall sports and for them starting on time and several Big Bend coaches agree.
"There's a lot of kids that have a lot of stake in this, so to speak," said Jarrod Hickman, the head football coach at Florida High. "To give them that opportunity, it's exciting as a coach to see that because you're right, there's so many things that are so great about the game of football and sports in general that have nothing to do with the game itself. That has to do with relationships and the hard work and the dedication and the commitment and all those things tend to follow life in their jobs and those things down the line."
"It's not just football," said Mike Coe, Madison County's head football coach. "It's volleyball, it's band, it's cheerleading, it's all that. It's the high school experience and these kids have already missed out on a lot of that last spring and now you're talking about possibly taking the fall away from them too. They'll find something to do. You can rest assured they'll find someone to be with, people to be around and they'll find something to do. I'd rather them be with adults that love and care about them after school than out and about."
The Board of Directors will also discuss a COVID-19 waiver on Friday that acknowledges the risks involved in playing high school sports during the pandemic and requiring students to report any coronavirus symptoms.