Well, it’s almost here.
The much talked about, debated, questioned and delayed Georgia high school football season is less than a week away. This Friday night, six of our coverage area schools are set to suit up and take the field finally, after an unprecedented amount of uncertainty due to the outbreak of the new coronavirus (COVID-19).
The players and coaches have done their part to make it happen. Tons of new regulations and procedures have been added to the already-complex set of rules these teams have to live by.
Most players want a season, and they want it to happen as safely as possible.
You can hear it in interviews.
“We’ll do whatever it takes,” Christian Heritage School’s Evan Lester said of the preparation for the season. “You just have to focus on what you control and hope for the best.”
While Lester and the hundred of other football players in our area do “whatever it takes,” to make the season happen, they can be helped along by fans.
At games in Murray County and Whitfield County schools, you’ll find signs encouraging social distancing and face mask usage while in the stands. Dalton High School is taking the step to only open 50 % of Harmon Field’s seats for spectators, in an effort to keep fans distant and limit the potential spread of COVID-19.
In the softball and volleyball games I’ve been to so far in this “new normal” of a 2020 fall sports season, these signaled requests for help with safety seem to have been largely ignored by a majority of attendees.
The administrations of the Georgia High School Association and our local school districts think it’s important enough to ask for distancing and mask usage in the stands.
Lots of players have worked hard to prepare for this season, both on the field and in taking safety precautions.
They did their part, and they’ll need to keep doing it. They’re focusing on what they can control.
It’s up to everyone else now.
Games, seasons and — more importantly — lives may depend on it.
Daniel Mayes is the sports editor of the Daily Citizen-News. Write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.