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Is high school football looking at a spring start?

by Jamaar Hawkins, i64sports

Sports across the country have come to a resounding halt with the spread of COVID-19. With the National Basketball Association weighing options on the future of its league on today, high school athletic directors will soon face similar decisions. 

Currently, no in-person activities are allowed by member schools, according to the Virginia High School League. For those who are unaware of the rule, student-athletes are not allowed to participate in any after school activities if school is not in session. In other words, as long as students are out of school, there will be no  school-sponsored extracurricular activities. 

For college athletics the same rule applies. Students must return to on-campus classes before the college football season can begin. Thus, some college athletic directors have already began to plan for a shortened regular season. 

On Thursday’s segment of the Live at 5 podcast, which will be released shortly, Vance High School head football coach Glenwood Ferebee discussed the possibility of the high school football season being moved to the spring. 

“As of right now, that’s definitely one of the options being discussed. I spoke to my AD earlier today and that’s one of the things we talked about, maybe starting the season in the spring,” Ferebee said during the segment.

Starting the high school football season in the spring has also been discussed in states like Ohio, which was among the first to cancel this year’s winter sports state tournaments due to the spread of COVID-19. In states like Alabama where the regular season is scheduled to begin the final week in August, questions have already been raised about the possibility of no season at all.

Rising seniors who have already made college decisions may enroll prior to the spring. What would happen to those prospects? 

“I think you always do what’s best for the kid, but obviously it probably doesn’t make sense for a kid to play in the spring if they’ve already made a decision. Of course some kids are competitive so you never know. But I think as a coach you make the decision that is best for the kid,” Ferebee noted. 

Among other options being mentioned include moving the start of the season to February. A split schedule to account for any stoppages in play have also been discussed.  Of course these are all contingency plans. With most states easing stay at home orders as early as today, in-person workouts could begin next month according to a number of coaches I have spoken to off the record.

What do you think? Does spring football sound like an enticing idea? 

-Jamaar Hawkins