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Governor says ok to play, but is it?

JCMS’ Nehemiah Willis and Isaiah Fenner lay a bone-crushing tackle on Happy Valley’s Waylen McKeehan in a Longhorns 2019 win. File photo

By Tim Chambers
Sports Editor

Governor Bill Lee, per an executive order issued on Thursday, said that it’s ok to kick off fall football on time in the fall, but that might not be the case in Johnson County.  A few COVID 19 cases have been reported that have suspended football practice for two weeks in addition to the other sports that were practicing.  They could have continued practicing but chose to suspend it as a precautionary measure. 

Executive Order No. 55 fell under the “Safe Reopening Plan for Tennessee Schools” amid the current COVID-19 pandemic. The two had been determined as contact sports, and because of it were prohibited from contact practice and competition under a previous executive order that wasn’t set to expire until August 29.

Since Johnson County doesn’t have soccer, it won’t have any effect there, but football is a different story. Because of the recent positive test in football the staff is currently busy cleaning and sanitizing equipment and the facilities.Johnson County High School Athletic Director Austin Atwood indicated they elected to suspend all practices at the present because of safety concerns.

Johnson County has seen a large increase in COVID-19 cases over the past week, so Lee’s announcement was nothing to jump for joy over for football fans up here. Kudos to Director of schools Mischellle Simcox and the board for pushing the start of school back to August 17.

As of now, the Longhorns will put football on hold and resume practice at a later date. The athletic directors will meet on Monday to discuss a start plan, which is irrelevant as of now. The talk is football will start on time statewide, but that is unlikely here in Johnson County. Teams will not be given a loss if they are unable to play due to the COVID-19 virus.

Johnson County was slated to begin play on August 21 at Sullivan East. There will be more information to come on this at a later
date.