RICHMOND, Va. -- High school football with not be played in Virginia this fall due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Virginia High School League (VHSL).
The organization says they will decide the fate of the 2020 fall sports season on July 27. Football in the fall is not included in any of the three models under consideration.
- Model 1: Only golf and cross country in the fall. All other fall sports cancelled.
- Model 2: Spring sports (except lacrosse) being shifted to the fall and vice versa
- Model 3: All sports played in truncated seasons from Dec. 14-June 26.
- Winter Sports would be held Dec. 14-Feb. 20 (First play date: 12/28). Fall Sports would be held Feb. 15-May 1 (First play date: 3/1); Spring Sports would be held April 12-June 26 (First play date: 4/26).
Whatever model is eventually chosen, there will be a void this fall that many associated with high school football have not felt since before they started playing the game.
“They want to play,” Hopewell head coach Ricky Irby said of his players. “For a lot of these kids, football is a way of life for them. It’s what keeps them motivated in school and what they really love to do. When you take anything that somebody loves away from them, it’s going to hurt.”
“I think it’s a major void,” added Highland Springs head coach Loren Johnson. “It’s going to put everybody in a different place. But in that different place, what do you do with the time that you have? There are a lot of different things that come with this. We have to take and run with the benefits of what we have as opposed to the negatives.”
Being away from school and friends for the last 4 months has done nothing to ease the pain of today’s announcement, according to Johnson, regardless of how eventual it may have been.
“This decision makes it harder,” Johnson said. “When you’ve been sitting around the house for 5 months and now you have to sit around for another five months. It’s a difficult thing.”
Deep Run head coach Chad Hornik says his heart his heavy, but he remains optimistic that fall sports will somehow happen for his team and for all fall athletes around the country.
"My heart is heavy for our Deep Run football players and coaches. We have been working incredibly hard well before COVID-19 hit our world and now our seniors could possibly be losing the opportunity to play their senior season," said Hornik. "We have more than a dozen players that are counting on the 2020 season to make their final impressions on college recruiters and now this opportunity could possibly be gone."