Jefferson County high school coaches concerned about canceled college football

High school football still scheduled for next week

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Jefferson County high school coaches met Monday to go over COVID-19 protocols for the upcoming football season.

High schools in Alabama still plan to kickoff a week from Friday as some college football conferences are considering canceling their season.

Many Jefferson County coaches and educators want to see high school football kickoff without a hitch. They believe it can be done safely if everyone does what they are supposed to, but a big wildcard could be the spread of canceled college games that could be a game changer here.

Coaches and principals across Jefferson County came to Irondale to discuss the latest protocols offered by the CDC and the Alabama High School Athletic Association. The goal of the meeting is to get everyone on the same page.

“Fans will have to wear masks when they come into the stadium. We encourage them to stay with their families and social distance,” said Darrell Long, Director of Athletics for Jefferson Co. Schools.

The concessions will be prepackaged and there will be no fountain drinks.

Word has spread that some college football conferences are canceling their seasons. Most reports point to the Big Ten. If that happens, what about high school football?

“I would think if colleges start canceling their season, then I think it would be something we would have to look at,” said Walter Gonsoulin, Jefferson County School Superintendent.

Coaches at the meeting say their players are getting ready for the season. None want to face the prospects of telling their players the season could be over before it starts.

“It would be devastating. It’s part of their psyche. We deal with that behind the scenes as well,” said Greg Patterson, Hueytown High School football coach.

“I’m being totally optimistic. I’m not even thinking about that. I tell the kids to control what they can control. Show up for practice on Tuesday and we will be fine. I’m not going to do the doom and gloom,” said George Bates, Center Point High School football coach.

As of Monday, high school football in Alabama is set to kick off on August 21. The key is making sure everyone follows safety protocols. Another key is what the colleges will end up doing.

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