The coronavirus pandemic will delay the start of the Longhorns Football season originally scheduled to begin August 17. On July 6 Tennessee’s Governor extended the COVID-19 State of Emergency until August 29. File photo
By Tim Chambers
Information was sent to member schools on Tuesday by Bernard Childress, Executive Director of the TSSAA, last week regarding the status of high school athletics amidst the Governor’s latest State of Emergency order.On Monday, the Governor’s office extended Tennessee’s COVID-19 State of Emergency until August 29, 2020.
The Governor’s prior order (No. 38) includes limitations and restrictions on contact sporting events and activities. “We are working with the Governor’s office to ensure that our member schools are in compliance with the executive order in regards to athletic participation and contact sports,” Childress said. “While the Governor’s order was in place, member schools could not have any competition or scrimmage with other schools and cannot have close contact activities during their fundamental practice in football, 7-on-7 football, girls’ soccer, wrestling, and basketball. There was no mention made of volleyball, cross country, and golf competition.
Because of the extension of the Governor’s order, football and girls’ soccer cannot begin their seasons as initially scheduled.The Board will decide how this will impact the postseason and if any adjustments can be made to regular-season competition,” Childress was quoted as saying.
Because of all the current events, football and girls’ soccer, which were scheduled to start the week of August 17, will likely be pushed back at least a month. Johnson County High School athletic director Austin Atwood felt like the football season could be reduced to a seven-game schedule, but the one thing for certain you won’t be seeing a ten-game schedule like in years past.
The annual TSSAA dead period, which ended on July 6, means that things will be back in swing at the high school on Monday. The girls’ basketball team was scheduled to work out in the morning and volleyball later in the afternoon. Football practice was to run from 6-8 pm.
The TSSAA is hoping to get things started back after losing more than $1 million due to the cancellation of basketball tournaments and the spring fling state championships for spring athletics.
NOTE: The entire football schedule for all teams will likely have to be redone so that all District games can be played.