COURTESY OF SOUTHERN OHIO SPORTS AUTHORITY


Waverly Coach Chris Crabtree says high school football differs from college because there are not as many moving parts.  Several conferences, including the Big Ten, have canceled football this fall, but Ohio high school football is moving forward with an abbreviated schedule.

College announcements not slowing high schools

By DEL DUDUIT

Southern Ohio Today


     There were some anxious moments for high school football administrators and coaches Tuesday who wondered if some conferences’ postponements of fall seasons would have an impact on Ohio’s high schools.


     No new information was released from Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s Tuesday coronavirus update as far as high school sports were concerned. But college football was addressed, and it was announced that the Big Ten has officially postponed its season and hopes to make an attempt to play in the spring of 2021.


     For now, high school football will kick off on time and have a shortened season of six games.


     “It was a little concerning when I heard about Ohio State and the Big Ten,” Waverly High School Coach Chris Crabtree said after the press briefing. “I do think high school is different because there are not as many moving pieces so I definitely think we can play.”


     Also, over the past few days, the Mid-American Conference, which includes Ohio University declared the 2020 football season as a wash. The Pac-12 also has canceled football.


     The Ohio High School Athletic Association made the announcement last weekend that the football season will be reduced to six games and includes playoffs.


     “High school football is doable as long as we follow the guidelines and do what we are asked from health officials,” Crabtree said. “For us, it’s so far so good.”


     High schools in Ohio are practicing, but they have not been reckless. Locker rooms are not being used, film sessions and anything else indoors have been reduced, players bring their own water bottles, and nothing is shared.


     Players arrive ready to practice, go through drills and then leave in uniform, showering at home. Temperatures are taken when they arrive, and masks are worn by players until they step on the field.


     Crabtree, who enters his ninth year as head coach and his 26th year in the Waverly system, said he is preparing his team to play, but is ready for any new developments.


     “It seems like we will have a season. That’s exciting. A shortened season, but that’s better than none at all,” he said. “It’s not set in stone, but we just have to figure out what’s going on. Something new could be announced tomorrow.”


     Coaches and athletes still don’t know if they will play in front of fans yet.


     “That’s something we have not heard about right now. They want to. We all want people in the stands,” he said. “But at this point, they just want to play. For us, it’s going well, and we are getting prepared for the season to start. That’s all we know right now.” 

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