THOMASVILLE – Area football coaches are hoping to soon learn what their summer schedule will look like amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Georgia High School Association Executive Director Robin Hines is slated to speak with GHSA board members Thursday and a decision is expected to be relayed to member schools by Friday. According to coaches, they're hopeful a start date of June 1 will be reserved for conditioning and workouts.
“I think logically it'd be really smart to get something out Friday, just because if it is June 1, as far as the get-back time, we need as many days as possible to try to get some kind of plan together,” Thomasville coach Zach Grage said. “We have a staff meeting (Thursday) as coaches at 1 p.m. We've been doing that every day at 1 p.m. since this stuff happened. That'll be one of our thoughts is, how do we do this? How do we identify as a group; if it's 20, it's 10, if it's 30?
“You've heard some things thrown out there. But until somebody puts it on paper, it's almost a waste of time to talk about it too much.”
Cairo coach Steven Devoursney added, “I think most people thought it wouldn't start until July … (but) June 1 with some guidelines and restrictions, it's better than nothing.”
High school coaches have wondered about the fate of the 2020 season. 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.
If teams begin workouts on June 1, it provides them more than two months of preparation for the season, which is still slated to begin during the weekend of August 21. Thomas County Central coach Ashley Henderson is cautiously optimistic that the season will start as scheduled.
“One of the statements that did come out, they did say that everything is hopeful for the season to start on time. There's no definites,” Henderson said. “Barring a relapse or things like that. There's going to be a bunch of restrictions that are going to come out with it to keep everybody safe.”
One of the expected restrictions is how many players can work out with each individual coach. It doesn't matter at this point to Grage.
“I don't care if it's 1-on-1, I'll be happy just to see my kids. Whatever they're able to put forth and whatever stipulations and regulations and everything you're going to have with it, I'll do whatever. I'll be happy just to see my kids,” Grage said. “Everything right now is a blessing. Each step is that much closer to getting to maybe a possible normal football season.”