Fall sports, including football, still on for now

By BRYAN DAVIS PUBLISHER,

Mississippi high school football games are usually getting started around mid-August, but that won’t be the case for public schools this year.

As districts make tough decisions for student-athletes over the next two weeks, the Mississippi High School Activities Association has already delayed the football season by two weeks.

Practice can begin Aug. 17, but games, if played at all, will not commence until Sept. 4.

As of right now, players are still practicing inside Sunflower County, SCCSD Superintendent Miskia Davis said this week.

“Every person who is out there practicing for football, their parents have voluntarily allowed them to go and play, understanding the risks and everything,” she said. “They have to sign a waiver. Essentially, all of our athletics, which football is what we’re talking about now, is able to continue, because parents are willing to allow their children to go and play.”

Neighboring Greenville Public Schools made the decision Tuesday to cancel fall sports this year. The final decision from SCCSD will likely come next week, Davis said.

“At this point, we have not decided to end athletics as of yet, but I will say, it was a hot topic at the special call board meeting we had yesterday (Monday), and we’re going to revisit it again next week,” she said.

Davis said that football for the district is not a big moneymaker in normal times, and she said it’s the future of the student-athletes that weigh most heavily on her mind.

“That’s at the top of our mind, not so much the money aspects of it, because in the big scheme of things, our football teams weren’t making tons of money anyway,” she said. “Our biggest money maker was pretty much basketball. All money helps, but we’re pretty much looking at it from the standpoint for the seniors and how that’s going to look for their scholarship opportunities.”

Those scholarship opportunities come for both football players, as well as band members, cheerleaders and dance team members, among others. 

“We’re hoping the Mississippi High School Athletics Association will just say one way or the other, but that’s not looking likely, so we’re looking at having to make the decision, and we’re probably going to make one next week,” Davis said.

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