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home : sports : local sports October 31, 2020

8/12/2020 4:19:00 PM
No High School Football This Fall

Wayne Howard
Staff Writer

What we have called "The Lost Year" continues thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.  There won't be a high school football season this Fall; volleyball and other Fall sports will also be postponed.  The first high school sports this school year won't begin until  mid-November and football won't be played until February 2021.  The North Carolina High School Athletic Association released an amended 2020-2021 Athletic Calendar Wednesday afternoon (August 12th).
NCHSAA Commissioner Que Tucker issued the following statement:
“You all have been waiting patiently for a decision from the NCHSAA relative to an amended sports calendar for the 2020-2021 academic year. Please keep in mind that these proposed dates are dependent on COVID-19 conditions improving across North Carolina. However, last night the Board of Directors approved a framework we believe maximizes the opportunities for students in our membership to participate in athletics at some point during this school year, regardless of under what plan a school and/or school system operates.
"The NCHSAA Board approved an amended calendar for the 2020-2021 school year in a special called meeting for this purpose on Tuesday, August 11th via Zoom. This calendar represents the hard work of the NCHSAA Staff, Board of Directors and various committees such as the City/County Athletic Directors, Sports Medicine Advisory Committee and the Sports Ad Hoc Committee. There is still much work to be done on the details of implementing athletic programs and contests during this pandemic, but we thank these committees and individuals for their hard work to bring us to this point. 
"We recognize that this is a lot of information to digest and drastically different from the way the sports calendar has been aligned for years in North Carolina. However, as we mentioned many weeks ago, 'We will play again.' In that mantra, we believe, and it is in that spirit that we present this calendar. It is the belief of the Board of Directors and our staff that this calendar provides us the greatest chance of providing interscholastic athletic opportunities to the students of the NCHSAA for the 2020-2021 academic year. We believe that this is the best path forward to a safe return to the field. 
"Our decision-making process has been careful and calculated, as we work to ensure the health and safety of all student-athletes, coaches and administrators during this unprecedented time. There is still much work to be done in regard to playoff formats, COVID-19 related rules modifications for numerous sports, securing potential playoff facilities and providing the safest possible regular season opportunities for student athletes. We are committed to that work and will continue to lead and govern interscholastic athletic programs across this state that support and enrich the educational experience provided by our member schools in such a manner to maintain the standards of excellence that the NCHSAA has become known for."
Dr. Josh Bloom of the NCHSAA Sports Medicine Advisory Committee (SMAC) added:
“We feel it is critically important to provide opportunities for North Carolina student athletes to participate, and compete, in education-based athletics.  While there are risks with resuming NCHSAA sanctioned athletics, it has also become very clear that there are significant negative consequences with not providing this option to student athletes.  Accordingly, this is an exercise in balance – and we are committed to an appropriate balance of both safety AND participation.
"Our student athletes rely on the leadership and guidance of their coaches and mentors, the structure and discipline inherent in sports, and the camaraderie, joy, and excitement inherent in training and competing with their friends and teammates. For many young people, the void left without sports is filled with anxiety, depression, and despair.  While the consequences of not participating may be more difficult to quantify than the risks of COVID 19 infection, we recognize these consequences of NOT participating are real and they are grave.  With this in mind, we feel it is crucial to provide some good news and a plan for NCHSAA member schools to resume athletics.  Accordingly, and with guidance from the CDC, the NC DHHS, and from our SMAC, we look forward to providing a path to participation in the 2020-2021 academic year.” 

Under the amended calendar, the high school football season will begin on February 26th. It will consist of only seven games with the final regular season game on April 9th. The playoff schedule is yet to be decided.

Volleyball and cross country competition will begin on November 16th and will last until early January. Those will be the first high school sports that will be scheduled for this school year.

Both men's & women's golf will be played from March 15th-April 30th.

Men's soccer will begin January 25th and women's soccer March 15th.

Men's tennis will begin March 15th and women's tennis April 26th.

Wrestling will also begin April 26th.

We have posted the schedule here, but it may be easier to read on the NCHSAA website.  CLICK THE LINK BELOW to see the full High School Sports Calendar announced Wednesday:

Amended 2020-2021 NCHSAA Sports Calendar


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