BY KAYLA GATES
With the threat of the coronavirus still at large, county officials have made the decision to postpone fall sports indefinitely. With much uncertainty surrounding the 2020-21 season, both coaches and athletes are working to overcome the setback.
Due to the severity of the coronavirus in Florida, summer practices throughout the state were put on hold. The Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) announced that fall sports would begin at a later date, determined to be July 27 for the state as a whole.
A recent surge in COVID-19 cases set this date to be even further in the future for South Florida. Despite the FHSAA Board of Directors’ desire to maintain the standard athletics calendar, officials in Broward County have since decided to ignore this agenda.
As of late-July, the Broward County Athletic Association (BCAA) has determined that fall practices will be delayed even further to ensure the safety of their athletic departments across the county. The decision has generated even more uncertainty surrounding the start of the fall sports season.
“We will always put all of our student-athletes, coaches, volunteers and school personnel’s safety first.”Broward County Athletic Association (BCAA)
“Despite [the FHSAA’s] announcement that practices start this Monday, July 27 for Fall Sports, the BCAA membership remains united to stay home, safe and healthy until further notice,” the BCAA said. “We will always put all of our student-athletes, coaches, volunteers and school personnel’s safety first.”
Following the BCAA’s decision, various counties throughout the state have since followed suit, including Orange County, Seminole County, Osceola County and Hillsborough County. Still, the FHSAA has continued to stand by its original recommendation to commence the fall season on August 24.
The FHSAA board voted 10-5 in favor of maintaining the current athletics calendar. However, the motion allows teams with an undetermined start date to opt-out of the FHSAA state series, making them ineligible for the state title as a result.
As a part of the BCAA, CCHS is just one of the many schools in the county experiencing this setback. The indefinite postponement of the fall season has prevented the commencement of various sports, including football, soccer, volleyball and track and field.
“I am practicing a lot on my own, but I miss being in a team setting.”Junior Malak Sadoumy
“It is very disappointing that I will most likely not be able to run track at school this year,” junior Malak Sadoumy said. “I am practicing a lot on my own, but I miss being in a team setting.”
In order to compensate for the postponement, the district administration has devised a potential plan for resuming school sports. A phased approach to conditioning is planned to begin once COVID-19 positivity rates fall below 5%. The hope is that a slow re-acclimation will allow the eventual occurrence of traditional practices and team competitions.
The 2020-21 fall sports season has taken a very different form than in years past, so the hope is that it can still be salvaged. While the coronavirus pandemic has taken a toll on student-athletes in Broward County and throughout Florida, officials have set their sights on returning to play in some form.
“I remain hopeful and optimistic that we are going to provide an opportunity for all our sports teams to participate this school year,” Athletic Director Paul Megna said. “While we will likely face reduced competitions and a reduced length of our sports seasons, I believe all of us would readily accept this so long as we were participating and competing in some capacity this school year.”
Photo by The Lariat Photography