Beau Johnson talks about state’s indecision, and the delay in fall sports starting

Published: Jul. 29, 2020 at 6:35 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG) -This is an odd week for Blountstown High School head football coach and Athletic Director Beau Johnson. He and his team were supposed to be into the first week of fall practice, knowing their preseason classic was just over two weeks away.

That not happening, with the FHSAA Board voting last Thursday to push back the start of all fall sports to a start no earlier than August 24th.

That means no games of any sorts until the second week of September. And that's if they don't change things again. Here's coach Johnson's assessment of all that!

"Well we try to stay half glass full of people around here." coach Johnson told me. "Try to be positive so I'll touch on the positive first. The positive is we get a couple of more weeks to get our kids acclimated on being behind in the weight lifting and in the heat that we are having that weird summer. But the disappointment is the lack of planning and leader ship from the top levels of our association. It's pretty disappointing. We appreciate Coach John's working hard for our area and start date or not just not having a plan to move forward is very frustrating for coaches and for kids."

Today in fact the FHSAA has a series of advisory council meetings taking place, we'll wait to hear what productive suggestions.

Coach Johnson no doubt hopeful for something good to come out of those meetings, though he says it seems all of this should have been sorted out weeks, if not months ago!

"There's just so many different areas and facets, I don't know that there is a one size fits all planned that's gonna work in our state this year. I think we have to think outside the box. I think that the most disappointing thing is that we've had four months and they can't come up with a plan. I mean it's very frustrating. But at the same time we are just going to tell our kids let's just stay focused on the positives. Which is more time it gives us to get caught up on acclamation and weight lifting and conditioning. We're just gonna be ready to go August 24 when they cut us loose"

As it happened, the FHSAA’s football advisory council putting forth some kind of plan Wednesday. It calls for an August 24th start date to practice, eliminating classic games, as well as a team’s first two regular season games. It suggest picking up the schedule for each team in week 3. And it calls for teams to be classified sometime in October, with the 1A class staying the same. The smallest 1/3 of schools, based on populating going into the 2A-4A classes. The largest 2/3 of schools from 5A-8A. Teams would have to commit for the state playoffs by October 12th.

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