High school athletes start practice on schedule if districts approve

Florida High School Athletic Association voted to start the fall sports season as scheduled.

That means football, volleyball and the rest start practice next Monday. But there is a catch. Time will tell if individual school districts will accept the FHSAA plan and allow their student-athletes to take to their seasons.

We spoke to coaches, players and parents Tuesday about the FHSAA call to play ball.

Joseph Boney’s two sons play football at Immokalee High School, and he’s happy with the decision to start the season on time

“Ideal small town: You come here on a Friday night; everybody’s in the same place,” Boney said. “They’re at the football stadium.”

The decision went against the advice of the FHSAA sports medicine advisory committee, which wanted to postpone high school football and volleyball indefinitely.

“I look at it as the kids need the sports for several reasons,” Boney said. “I mean, they’ve been cooped up at home. I mean — some of these kids — sports are how they get to school, get to the next level, get an education to further themselves.”

Ultimately, FHSAA still voted to go ahead with all fall sports as scheduled.

“Personally, I hate that they made the date July 27,”said coach Willis May with South Fort Myers High School. “I really thought that they would move back to August 10, just to give us some time because you know we want the kids to be safe.”

Marco Cardona is a senior at South Fort Myers High school, and he is banking his future on football, so this decision is huge.

“Crucial. It’s very important for me,” Cardona said. “I have a lot of things I have to prove and a lot of things people need to see.”

In the name of safety, Bonney said he’d like to see one rule change.

“What I’m hoping to see is that, you know, they’ll allow face masks inside of the helmets because the helmets … they’re open,” Boney said.

Unless an individual school district decides otherwise, practice begins Monday.

The School District of Lee County told us it has not decided whether to green light fall sports just yet and did not say when it might. Collier County Public Schools said it continues to work on its plan for fall sports. Charlotte County Public Schools has not responded to us yet.

Reporter:Andrea Guerrero
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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