HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – You could call it a birthday present. You could call it a safety precaution. You could also call it a start – a start to a high school football that is still riddled with question marks.
Hillsborough County Public Schools Superintendent Addison Davis announced Tuesday the start of the fall sports season will be delayed by two weeks. However, the delay is paired with a date: A start date of August 10.
His announcement came less than 24 hours after the Florida High School Athletic Association’s Board of Directors decided against changing the athletics calendar.
“I recognize how crucial athletics and extracurricular activities are to not only student-athletes, but the school communities overall,” Davis wrote in a statement. “While resuming these activities is an important step toward normalcy on our campuses, our district will do so in a guarded manner as we navigate the continuing impact this pandemic has on our local community. This extra time will also allow school administrators to work with athletic directors to build a timeline that allows for a start date of August 10.”
Earl Garcia, the head football coach at Hillsborough High School in Tampa, reacted to the development on Tuesday in between celebrating his birthday with his wife and his grandson.
“Jumping up and down, at least we have a definitive answer now,” said Garcia, “keeping in mind that everything is fluid. It could change in one week. It could change tonight. Hopefully, it will not but there are still a lot of questions.”
Yes, the questions are quite relentless but the announcement from Davis is certainly a positive start.
“We do not know if we are taking the first two games off of the front end of the schedule,” said Garcia. “Are they rearranging the open dates? We will leave that up to the higher-ups too but at least our kids have some direction now. We have not thrown a football in six months or however long it has been so everybody is on the same page. It is all even for everybody and equitable so we are just glad to get our sport going again. A definitive date is exciting, it really is.”
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