THOMASVILLE – Georgia high school sports fans and coaches can mark June 8 on their summer calendars. That’s when coaches and athletes can return for summer conditioning work. 

Thomas County Central Athletic Director Sam Holland confirmed the date following the conclusion of Thursday's meeting of the Georgia High School Association (GHSA) and Executive Director Robin Hines. Hines initially hoped for a June 1 start date but concerns during the board of trustees meeting pushed the start date back a week.

“This sets everything up to start on time barring any flareup or any other kind of issue. At least now, we've got a starting date and we've got a plan,” Holland said.

For Georgia high school football fans, there's been some doubt about the 2020 season ever since the pandemic halted high school sports activities in mid-March. Coaches have already missed spring practices since the GHSA announced on April 2 that all sports activities would be canceled for the rest of the semester. This came a day after Gov. Brian Kemp announced he was closing schools for the final two months.

Holland reflected on the impact of no sports for the past two months.

“One of the greatest things about coaching is relationships, the camaraderie if you will. To be able to get back doing what God blesses us to do, this job is incredible,” Holland said. “What we went through, nobody would have ever dreamed that would happen. Yeah, we took things for granted. You never thought you would go without a season. A complete shutdown? Hollywood wouldn't even make that up.”

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