Bozeman coach talks about complications from District decisions

Published: Aug. 18, 2020 at 6:35 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG) -It's safe to say Bay County High School football coaches, like Bozeman's Jason Griffin, are dealing with the unknown. Though as of Tuesday, things a little more definitive, at least in terms of when the season can begin.

The Bay District office telling coaches like Griffin they will be able to start playing games the third week in September, so the 17th for Thursday night games, the 18th for Friday night games.

That's the good news. It comes though on the heels of Monday's news that start of fall practice is being pushed back from the 24th to September 7th. And the games would not begin September 4th!

"You know that was the second time that we've gotten our guys ready and said hey we're putting helmets on on Monday, we're prepared let's go." coach Griffin told me Tuesday afternoon. "And you know it's the second time I've had to break the news to them that that's not the case. So that was a little bit difficult, it was frustrating that we've gotten to that point twice, that we've had to tell our guys hey we told you that we were going but that's not gonna happen this time. So that's tough for teenage guys, that's tough for young men to go with. But kids are resilient. They're going to have to deal with it. The good news is you know a decision has been made, that's going to give us the opportunity to have a football season."

For now coach Griffin has the bulk of his schedule intact, though two games for sure will be lost, maybe three. And for now, his roster is intact as well, though he tells me that could change, with the parents of two players telling the coach they are considering moving their kids to counties that are going to start earlier, and play more games.

"If other districts are going to play earlier and get an opportunity to play another week or two and a parent thinks that's a better opportunity for their kid, it's not anything I can control." coach Griffin said. "It's not anything I can stop. All you can do is wish them well and hope it goes well for them. And again no one has confirmed and no one has said that's going to happen, they said that was something they were considering. I'm sure I'm not the only one who's going to have to deal with the possibility you know, that some kids that are going to look at an opportunity i n some other counties, that's gonna play a little bit more, play a longer season. And potentially have a kid that wants to go somewhere else. It's a difficult situation to be in"

Add to all this the Bay County teams told they won't be able to travel outside the county until early October, further complicating the ongoing scheduling process!

Coach Griffin saying the phone is blowing up for him and all fall sports coaches, as they basically try to rework their schedules from scratch. And he’s trying his best to help out. Even if that means playing up in class, big time!

“You know we’re doing the best we can to try to step up and help each other out. I know I just talked about scheduling one with Arnold. Trying to work one with Rutherford as well. And (Mosley coach} Jeremy (Brown) and I have talked earlier today about the possibility of even us putting a game together. You know with us being the smallest school in the county it would be pretty challenging for us to play against the schools. But at the same time We have really got to help each other out this time. If it comes down to us playing a little bit above our class or not playing football, I think it’s an easy choice we go play football and give our kids the opportunity.”

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