The Virginia High School League cleared up one thing last week concerning high-school sports in the Commonwealth and that is there will be no football this fall.
The decision was not entirely unexpected but still a surprise to actually see in black and white.
The VHSL did release three options for sports this school year and I feel certain the final decision selected will either be Option 2 or Option 3.
I think Option 1 will be out because the gate at football games at many schools is a financial driver and helps cover many expenses for other sports. In Option 1, football and volleyball are eliminated from play this year.
To me, Option 3 seems the most likely if for no other reason than it buys more time for the VHSL Executive Committee to see where we are with the COVID-19 pandemic in a few months.
Option 3 is not without issues however as a full year of VHSL sports will be played in under six months beginning with the winter basketball season.
Option 2 also has some support based on comments from coaches and athletic directors I have seen or talked with but I just don’t think schools will be ready to start sports with the beginning of the school year. The biggest potential issue with Option 2 to me is if the flip between fall and spring sports happens and the COVID-19 outbreak gets worse early in the fall, sports such as softball and baseball will be lost for a second straight time.
There is no question that all final decisions for high-school sports will ultimately be decided by the severity of the virus in the Commonwealth.
No plan is perfect in the ongoing pandemic but Option 3 at least offers the potential for each sport to play this year by pushing the fall campaign back and starting with winter sports in December.
I can’t help but think of several athletes from this past spring at Park View and Brunswick who did not get a chance to put an exclamation mark on their playing career and get a chance to impress college scouts one final time.
Former Park View standout pitcher Justyn Hudson is one I think of that likely needed that senior season to increase his recruitment prospects and former Brunswick HS softball standout Desmyn Owens is another.
Both looked to me to be upper level scholarship athletes and while I know both will do very well at Bridgewater and Virginia State respectively, I think both had the potential to play on an even bigger stage.
I certainly hope this year’s athletes do not miss out on that final opportunity.
After the VHSL spring sports season was lost to the pandemic, I know everyone involved with high-school sports is just hopeful that the senior athletes who have worked so hard to make it to their final season get a plan to actually play.
We will know what the VHSL final plan is on Monday.
Good Luck to Mecklenburg
Good luck to the Mecklenburg All-Start team (17-19) that will open the 2020 Dixie Majors World Series on Friday morning at 9 a.m. against Brooksville, Florida in Ozark, Alabama. A win would advance Mecklenburg to a second round contest against the winner of the Texarkana, Arkansas and Southland/Louisiana contest on Saturday at 5 p.m. A loss would pit Mecklenburg against the loser of the Arkansas/Louisiana game on Sunday morning at 9 a.m.
A total of 12 teams are participating in the World Series.
Best Wishes to the local team for safe travels and Happy Scoreboards!