Coach Johns pushes FHSAA board to move ahead with fall sports workouts as scheduled July 27th

Published: Jul. 20, 2020 at 10:57 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG) -Thanks in no small part, to the efforts of Wewa head football coach and A.D. Bobby Johns, area schools will have the luxury of starting fall sports workouts as scheduled on July 27th. That is if they choose to do so.

That the product of what turned into a marathon FHSAA zoom meeting Monday, with all 16 voting board members, and executive staff taking part.

The meeting started with kind of surprise agenda item, a Sports Medical Advisory Council, led by a Mayo Clinic doctor who put forth recommendations to postpone volleyball and football indefinitely, make all participants wear masks, and ban fans and bands from all other events.

Coach Johns weighed in on that, saying he felt like the advisory council was putting forth recommendations that would kill some sports seasons altogether.

"And I'm not saying that I don't agree with some of the things that they (the medical council) say." coach Johns said. "And I'm not saying that I don't appreciate that. And I'm not a doctor. All I know is that a two hour meeting or a 2 1/2 hour meeting that holds the future of this athletic season for thousands of kids in your hands, that seems like not a long time to deliberate over this. So this is something that I think Is very important. But the bottom line is I wish we would stop talking about postponing and go ahead and call it what it is, which is canceling."

The advisory council recommendations were tabled by a vote of 15-1. The board then unanimously voted down another advisory board's suggestion to push back the start of sports to August 10th.

After hours of discussion, it appeared as if the Board was going to vote to delay the start of all workouts until after another board meeting August 10th, with another attempt to make a decision at that time. Coach Johns argued against that idea!

"We're not moving things forward. We're basically saying we're just treading water, we've been treading water for two more weeks or three weeks. Actually with still no decision in sight. That would just concern me." said Johns.

That motion to push back was withdrawn and eventually coach Johns put forth a motion that called to maintain the calendar to start July 27 with fall practices, to establish a date for schools to declare if they wish to compete in state playoffs. And to allow schools opt out of the state playoffs, to allow them to schedule more regular season games. That was passed by a 10-5 vote. So fall sports, at least for now, will start as scheduled. And again that certainly due to coach Johns and his passion to do what he can to make sure area student-athletes at least get the chance to start playing this fall.

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