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FHSAA board votes to begin fall sports season on August 24

Published: Aug. 14, 2020 at 12:31 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 14, 2020 at 12:45 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCTV) - The Florida High School Athletic Association Board of Directors has voted 11-5 to begin the fall season as previously scheduled on August 24. The decision was made during a meeting in Gainesville Friday morning.

The vote came after a Sports Medicine Advisory Committee recommendation to push the start of practice to September 28.

The FHSAA Board of Directors made the decision to approve “Option One” at their meeting in Gainesville on Friday, with an added amendment; schools that do not feel comfortable with playing the season do not have to, giving them the option to opt-out of the state’s schedule and work with the FHSAA to create an alternate one.

Madison County head football coach Mike Coe is on board with the decision; he says he’s happy to give kids something to do in a structured, controlled environment.

“Kids are gonna do what they’re gonna do,” he said. “Kids have been playing basketball this whole time. Kids have been playing seven-on-seven. They’re gonna do what they wanna do, you know? And I think this brings structure to it and a lot more safety protocols than they normally get.”

While Gadsden County head football coach Corey Fuller has his doubts, worried about what a potential outbreak could do to his team and what it could do if he brought it home.

“I’m not worried about it, to be honest, man. I’m not worried about me; I’ve got young kids, my son’s 11, my daughter’s nine,” Fuller said. “I’ve got an older kid. Who wants to die for something because you were overeager about playing football? It’s my job, it ain’t my life.”

The only public comment on the matter came from Jamie and Tami Kent, of Tampa, who have started a Change.org petition with over 40,000 signatures asking for a fall season.

The couple, who have a son who plays football, say playing this fall could mean a lot more than memories.

”Many of them who are seniors, this is their last opportunity,” Jamie said. “This is their last chance to get in front of a recruiter to help make a difference for their life in the sense of getting a better education and better jobs. We want them to have that opportunity and we don’t want someone else deciding what that should look like.”

It’s a decision now to be made at the local level.

Friday afternoon, Leon County announced the season will begin on September 11 with practice, with the first football game being set for September 25. The county also said all LCS schools will play in-county-only schedules.

This is a developing story

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