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Wednesday December 2nd, 2020 10:15PM

GHSA's top leader remains optimistic during COVID-19 pandemic

By Bo Wilson Sports Editor

Robin Hines is like everybody else involved with high school athletics around the state.

The Georgia High School Association's executive director released his monthly newsletter on Wednesday expressing the deep desire to return the 460 member schools back to action this spring.

But it's not entirely his decision to make. The state's school systems are closed due to the spread of COVID-19 by order of Gov. Brian Kemp through April 24 -- a timeline the GHSA has to follow. 

"The GHSA wants to resume our seasons as soon as possible," he wrote. "But the safety of our student-athletes, and those with whom they have contact as well as those who support them, has to be our top priority."

The Alabama High School Association has already canceled spring sports because school has been shuttered for the rest of the year. 

Hines, however, is hoping and praying the spread levels out and the threat of infection drastically decreases sooner than later. 

"If we are able to resume play, I don’t know what it will look like," he said. "We will be prepared for any scenario and, if my prayers are answered, we will play a reduced regular season and playoffs. We will do everything we can to get our teams back on the field but we must be back in school. When those decisions are made, rest assured they will be made with the most current information available with safety as our top priority."

But if it doesn't calm, inevitably, the spring season will be over, and Hines says that's just one of his worries.

"I am concerned that too much time will have passed before COVID 19 begins to decrease to have a season," he said. "I worry that we will not be in school again this school year. I worry about the safety of activities in the summer and I worry about its effect on fall sports and activities. Regardless of the time our sports and activities resume, we will be prepared to provide the best sports, activities and experiences for our 400,000+ student-athletes."

There has been no shortage of advice on how to handle the pandemic, from whether to play and practice or how to set up the playoffs if circumstances allow us to return to play," he continued. "I have heard mostly from parents of senior athletes who are losing their senior seasons day by day. I hear from the athletes themselves and they talk about how important our activities are and they feel they are being robbed of something they have worked so hard for. I get it, I understand the parent’s point of view and my heart breaks a little more every day this continues."

Read the newsletter in its entirety here.

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