Big Bend coaches split on FHSAA fall sports resolution

Friday, the Florida High School Athletic Association Board of Directors voted to begin the state-wide fall sports season on August 24.
Published: Aug. 14, 2020 at 10:39 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Friday, the Florida High School Athletic Association Board of Directors voted to begin the state-wide fall sports season on August 24, but allowed local districts to still decide on a later date.

“Nobody accepted the fact that 70% of the kids that play football in America are African-Americans,” Gadsden County head football coach Corey Fuller said. “That’s why this is a problem. This COVID-19 is killing the Hispanic and the Black population. This is a sad day in the state of Florida when recommendations are based off you had one representative of African-Americans in that room.”

Fuller is also concerned there is not adequate testing in place.

“Let’s see if we can get a vaccine, like they said, by December. My recommendation was push it back. Start football in the spring the day we go on Christmas break, practice in the month of January and start playing in the month of February. You’ll be done. Don’t play spring football for one calendar year and start for the next year,” Fuller said.

Ed Hill, head football coach at St. John Paul II, says most of his kids are working out on their own, so the two weeks from the start date to play a game is not an issue.

“I think the county is a little different because the county can’t start for a little bit,” Hill said. “As far as us, we are a private school and we are able to do somethings. We are going to pick up next week and we are going to start doing some straight conditioning, some running things like that to get our wind back under us.”

This also affects scheduling: Lincoln volleyball coach Taylor Zorne says she has had discussions with public and private schools in the county, but has not been able to set dates because plans keep shifting.

“It’s kind of hard,” Zorne said. “I feel like we keep having three to four plans and it’s just when we can finalize those plans and which ones will work best in the guidelines we are given.”

Fuller said he thinks the decision to play was politically motivated.

“Everybody wants to listen to the president and the governor,” Fuller said. “These people are at liberty to get tested when they need to get tested. They will know if they are positive today or negative today, they will have the resources and the doctors, but the average American...In this country, one of the main things they fight about in politics is healthcare. The people in that are in position with great healthcare are the ones pushing their agenda on the people that are struggling just to have healthcare.

Regarding beginning practice on August 24, Fuller said he would have to discuss the decision with his superintendent.

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