When will football return?
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
Football is on the clock.
In a little more than five months, a new high-school football season is scheduled to get underway, with Callaway, LaGrange and Troup set to kick things off.
How teams across the state will prepare for the 2020 season remains to be seen because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Spring practice has already been canceled, and how soon teams can begin getting together during the summer is a question mark.
Tanner Glisson, who is heading into his sixth season as Troup’s head coach, said there are a handful of plans in place, depending on when it is deemed safe for players and coaches to hold workouts and practices.
“I think the Georgia High School Association is working on three different plans,” Glisson said. “They’re working on a plan for June, a plan for coming back in July, and the worst-case scenario is trying to come back in August. So we have to set up plans just like that, and start with June, July, and August, and if we start here this is what we’ll do, and if we start here this is what we’ll do.”
In the meantime, with school canceled and players sheltered in place at home, teams are doing what they can to stay connected.
“We’re able to hold coaches meeting through Google Hangouts, and through Zoom, and all that kind of stuff,” Glisson said. “We’re also able to have player meetings using technology to get things installed, and workouts as well, and holding them accountable for the workouts.”
To get ready for a new season, though, teams need time together, and when that will happen is ultimately the decision of the Georgia High School Association.
Robin Hines, the executive director of the GHSA, is aware of how important it is for the high-school football season to go on as planned.
In a story by Georgia Public Broadcasting, Hines said “losing the fall season would be catastrophic.”
Hines added that if teams are able to begin workouts in July, the season can be held as scheduled.
OF NOTE: For much more on how the local football teams are handling the downtime, see next week’s sports sections.