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Goff, Blazers preparing for fall camp under uncertainty brought by COVID-19

Published: Jul. 14, 2020 at 6:43 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Valdosta is the “city without limits”; an optimistic title.

That, somehow, seems more ominous when you realize the plans Valdosta State head football coach Gary Goff and others are having to make about safety and the ever-changing potential of a football season feel limitless.

“We’ve talked about every scenario, just about, but as we’re sitting right now, we have full intention of starting the season on time and reporting to camp on time, but we do understand that the world can change pretty fast and what would that look like if we had to make these decisions,” Goff said.

With fall camp roughly four weeks away for the Blazers, Goff has been preparing his program for the current reality, leaning towards all position group meetings being done virtually and, potentially, holding two separate practices a day to keep groups smaller and prevent potential outbreaks.

“My biggest concern is, if you have a group of players that get it, you don’t want all five quarterbacks to get it, you don’t want all five linebackers or whatever position, so by staggering practices and trying to keep them apart, a little bit more hopefully that prevents cases,” he continued.

Thankfully for Goff and others, the tightknit coaching community has provided plenty of support and insight in these uncharted waters.

“We’ve spoke to West Virginia, to Houston, to Nevada, to Troy, just about every university where I know somebody to see what their challenges are and what are they doing to make sure everybody’s safe and everybody’s facing the same thing right now; the same concerns and struggles.”

Right now, everyone is on the same team in hope they won’t be in the fall.

On Tuesday, VSU Athletic Director Herb Reinhard posted a statement to VSU’s website on Tuesday, reiterating that, currently, neither Valdosta State nor the Gulf South Conference has suspended fall sport seasons. He did say, though, with the SIAC canceling their fall sport schedule, that their football season is now scheduled to begin on September 26, but they’re looking at options for playing games before then.

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