Spring high school sports await FHSAA announcement

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - The FHSAA has been holding out until the buzzer to make a decision on spring sports, but indications from around the state point to an announcement expected by Monday to officially end spring seasons.

Baseball, softball, boys weightlifting, lacrosse, tennis, track and field, and flag football are affected in Northwest Florida, with water polo and boys volleyball cut short elsewhere.

Governor Ron DeSantis announced Saturday that all Florida schools will be closed through the rest of the school year.

Bobby Johns, Chairman of the FHSAA Board of Directors, could not confirm a decision to NewsChannel 7 but explained several challenges administrators are facing, chief among them being social distancing.

"You can barely put one softball team on the field with a minimum of ten," Johns said. "When is it going to be okay to put larger groups together, and who is going to make that decision?"

The comfort of parents and kids returning is also a hurdle, potentially leading to rosters that can't be filled at smaller schools or teams.

"I've got parents that would not feel comfortable letting their kids participate even if they said it was okay," Johns, the athletic director at Wewahitchka, continued. "It's more far-reaching than just the FHSAA making the decision. Are all these teams going to be able to put teams on the field?"

June 30th has been established as the cutoff to play. Administrators have discussed contingencies daily with the kids' best interests in mind.

"They've lost prom. They'll very likely lose graduation," Johns reflected. "I think for your student athletes, when the final decision is made that sports are gone, that's it. That's the only thing that they're still holding onto right now. It's been tough on these kids, especially the seniors."

FHSAA discussions resume Sunday morning, with an announcement expected by Monday.

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