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FHSAA makes the decision to start fall sports on August 24, 2020

Published: Aug. 14, 2020 at 4:26 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG) -The FHSAA Board of Directors voted 11-5 to allow fall sports to begin practice August 24th, and to play games starting September 4th.

Both of our area’s representatives on the board, Wewa A.D., Bobby Johns, and Jackson County Superintendent, Larry Moore, voted in favor of starting now.

This kicks the decision to each District: Gulf, Jackson, Holmes, Walton and Washington. All have already given their schools the go-ahead. Bay and Calhoun will meet Monday to discuss, then decide.

This decision covers all fall sports: football, volleyball, golf, swimming and diving and cross country.

“We are excited that the FHSAA made the determination. I think that’s the thing we’ve been looking for. A guide for us on an official date that we all can build upon. More importantly for our athletes, not only just our football players but our band, and cheerleaders, is that there’s a lot of groups that are involved with fall sports from volleyball on through that are impacted by the decision. Mainly for the kids well-being, we’ve had a lot of work in the weight room and on the field that simulates what we can do. Football is not the real thing until you can get out and do it,” said Bay High School head football coach, Keith Bland.

Sneads volleyball coach, Heather Edge, added that this time together for student-athletes is crucial.

“Out of 10 parents, nine of them are for starting their girls on time and having the girls play. I think it’s a very big deal when you think about the athletes and what it emotionally and mentally does to them to just not have athletics. Not to have you know that time with your teammates and your friends,” said Edge.

The Sneads coach added today was a big day, almost a holiday feel to what happened.

“I think everybody’s thankful to be playing, and I know the girls are! We have group messages and as the meeting is going they are just non-stop sending messages back-and-forth and it is, they were anxious. It’s like a child on Christmas Eve waiting for Christmas morning to come. And they were just so anxiously waiting and now It’s almost like a celebration in a sense. They are ready to get back on the court and play, they want to have some sense of normalcy.”

Coach Bland says hearing the news immediately gave him a good feeling, a good “nervous feeling.”

“Well immediately the nerves set in. I’m excited about it,” coach Bland told us. I’m looking forward to getting the kids on the field, we have such a young team again. And they need the reps on the field and simulating football experiences that we can do. There’s still some questions to be answered but at least it gives help with a date identified.”

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