Welcome back to Phil for the Game, your glimpse into the sports community of Boone County. With the 2020 prep football season just about two months away, it remains unclear what state guidelines will help influence what the WVSSAC decides in regards to how the schedules will play out — if at all.
I’ve read all kinds of silly things like postponing the season until January 2021, which would push basketball and baseball back in some capacity, which to me is just not feasible.
I think this would impede any type of stabilization and return to normalcy moving forward.
If you saw my story in the May 20 edition of the CVN where I interviewed Scott Head Coach Shane Griffith, Sherman’s Michael Showalter and Van Mark Agosti, all three skippers were using technology as a way to communicate and check in on their players.
I really appreciated their approach. They had the health of their teams and their best interest at the forefront of all of their decisions.
There is one scenario that wouldn’t affect the sanctity of basketball and baseball scheduling and that would come down to a shortened season with the same playoff structure, which would feather as usual into basketball season.
What I don’t like about it is that it could work to the benefit of some schools and be a tough proposition for others.
For instance, I realize that playoff points are sought by all contenders in the game, but let’s say that we start the season in week 6 and Scott has to play four top-10 Class AA schools in a row — which could happen in the rugged Cardinal Conference — and they go 2-2 in that stretch but really compete and finish 3-2 and another team faces two top-10 Class AA teams and runs the table during that stretch.
Another issue I think about is the 3-week practice period, which I’m told won’t happen until after the July 4 holiday. Depending on what decision each county school system makes on allowing the period in all sports, some counties will get a jump-start on their season. If you think three weeks of running through plays with the fellas isn’t an advantage, then you’ve never played this game. It is an eternity.
It really isn’t clear what the landscape will be like come August and the thought of playing a high school football game with nobody in attendance is a pointless endeavor.
Without the fans, your parents, cheerleaders, the band and the community in general there to cheer you on, it would merely serve as a practice or scrimmage game with absolutely zero enthusiasm. I can’t imagine being a teenager and trying to “get up” for a game like that.
I think that, like basketball and wrestling in particular, football is impossible to be played adhering to social distancing guidelines in any way.
I’ve seen that some school districts across the country are installing mandatory clear face shields in helmets, but I’ve seen message board posts from parents that ponder, “At some point we have to look at the situation and say to ourselves, if we’re still in this type of danger, why are we playing a game?”
In college athletics, the NCAA Division I Council voted last week to allow athletes in football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball to resume voluntary on-campus workouts on June 1.
The move lifts a prohibition that has been in place since March, when the coronavirus pandemic resulted in actions shuttering college sports, including the cancellation of the NCAA basketball tournaments.
The status of voluntary on-campus activities in other sports will be determined through email votes that will be taken through the remainder of last week.
Of course we all want our football this fall; it would be an unprecedented time in American sports history to be without it. If we’re robbed of our Friday, Saturday and Sunday sporting traditions in 2020, let’s take that time to find new ways to absorb our family time. You never know what new tradition may begin because you thought outside the box.