By Tim Chambers
High school sports fans in the state of Virginia will have to wait at least until the start of the 2021 New Year to possibly be able to watch their kids participate if they play sports at all. The VHSL Executive Committee presented three options, and none contained high school football in the fall.
A final verdict will be handed down on July 27 at a meeting, but one thing for sure is there will be no fall football. What does this mean for the TSSAA member schools that are expected to probably play what will end up being a 7-game regular season Schedule Plus the playoffs? It probably means that if a kid has a chance of playing college football and lives on the state line, he could end up at a Tennessee school.
A perfect example might be a good athlete at Holston could cross the state line close by to Johnson County and participate unless the TSSAA does something to block it. Golf and cross country will take place as fall sports in Virginia with no football, volleyball or cheerleading. They have all been canceled. Some plans call for winter sports boys and girl’s basketball, wrestling, and swimming – to begin on December 14 and running through February 20.
School systems statewide need to get on the same page and push the start date of school back to after Labor Day. The fear of COVID-19 numbers on the rise raises a red flag among coaches, teachers, and administrators.
The old saying “it’s better to be safe than sorry” should be practiced during this pandemic. Students are already three months behind, and you can’t make that back up in a small time frame.
Will Tennessee high schools play?
I believe the answer will be yes but not like in years past. Don’t think for one minute that the TSSAA doesn’t have a plan in place for football to return. Expect to see them make a ruling on the start of high school football before the weekends.
Gate games needed
What would Johnson County’s football schedule possibly look like if the season was reduced to seven games? They must play their league games with Chuckey-Doak, West Greene, North Greene, Claiborne County, and Unicoi County. Next are the gate games. Who brings the most fans? We won’t drop Hampton from the schedule. It’s a game that has been played for years, and the fans love to see it. That could also be the case with Happy Valley. You don’t want to schedule games with lesser teams that bring no fans.
Everything should play out soon, and all the guessing can be put aside.