Richmond Public schools cancel fall sports season, including football

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Posted at 11:39 AM, Jan 14, 2021

RICHMOND, Va. -- Richmond Public Schools, which consist of John Marshall, Huguenot, George Wythe, Armstrong and Thomas Jefferson, has canceled the fall sports season, which includes Football.

"We kind of knew this might be the result with everything that's going on," said John Marshall Head Football Coach Willie Gillus III. "When they announced we wouldn't be going back to school, that was kind of the initial thought in my mind and maybe if they don't put us in the building, it's kind of hard to lean towards having sports."

Football practice was scheduled to begin February 4, with the season, which was originally set to start last August, to begin February 26. Now the Richmond City Schools will have to wait until next August for the start of Football.

"[The seniors] are pretty down about it," Gillus stated. "It's not the best situation for them because a lot of those kids thought this would be an opportunity to showcase their abilities to play at the next level. But I think there will be some opportunities that will present themselves moving forward."

This was to be Gillus' first season as the head football coach at John Marshall. Gillus was looking forward to working with the players, some he has already built a relationship within the classroom and try to reach the postseason for the third straight season.

His focus is to keep them motivated in school without having football as an outlet this season.

"I reached out to some of my athletes and I told them they have to find their reason why they're doing it," Gillus mentioned. "Because that will fuel the fire to keep you motivated. It's not all about football. Even if you're playing football, you might do spectacular things on the field because of something at home."

Football is not the only sport affected in this decision by RPS. Cross country, volleyball, cheerleading, golf along with field hockey will not have a fall sports season.

"Everybody is kind of feeling like it's up in the air right now," Gillus explained. "Trying to find some ways to guide ourselves to build something and try to put a plan in place. I think that's the most important thing when you're coaching these kids. You got to have a plan in place so when the time comes, you know what to do."

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