High school football season pushed back until spring

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NILES, Mich.-- Due to coronavirus concerns, football players in Michigan will not step foot on the football field this fall season.

This decision comes after discussions with health department officials, safety coming as the number one priority.

“I think that they have tried everything that they could possibly try, they are just not comfortable in feeling that they can do it with the best interest of all of our athletes in mind with this sport,” Brandywine School Athletic Director Vance Stratton said.

“There will be some challenges but they felt like that was the thing they needed to do to make sure the kids, that we could ensure safety for the kids,” Edwardsburg School Athletic Director Kevin Dean said.

All sports were split into three categories, low risk, middle risk and high risk. Football was placed in the high risk category.

“Football is such a collision sport, that virtually every single play, someone is hitting somebody somewhere, and the odds of being able to transfer this coronavirus situation is high,” Stratton said.

More than 500 11-player teams and over 80 8-player teams were planned to play this fall.

This shakeup came as a huge disappointment to both students and coaches.

“I know what it means for the kids to play,” Stratton said. “They are extremely disappointed right now, as well as our coaching staff.  I’ve already talked to a few of my football coaches; they don’t know what to do with themselves at this point right now.”

While this move wasn’t an easy one for the Michigan High School Athletic Association to make, athletic directors believe that it was the best choice.

"You know I think that’s the right decision, it’s hard for me to say that, I really was in favor of trying to move forward,” Dean said.

“I know it was an extremely hard decision for the executive council and for the MSHAA to make, but I absolutely think it was the right call,” Stratton said.

The goal now is to prepare and make adjustments for the postponed season starting in the spring.

“While it’s disappointing, it’s not devastating and that we’ll just do our best and learn from it and move on, and make sure that we have a season,” Dean said.

“It’s just to remind everybody to stay very positive about the situation and what is occurring. We will play football, I really feel like we will play football,” Stratton said.

More information will be released next week on how exactly this football season in the spring will move forward.

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