Typically no news is usually good news. But in the case involving the immediate future of high school sports in Georgia, no news, is just, well, disturbing.
Northeast Georgia area school systems, like the rest around the state, are still in what looks like a never-ending holding pattern when it comes to finding out whether they can begin planning for a typical season, or if huge changes are in store in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak.
“There have been no decisions made on anything right now. We’re just in that holding pattern still,” Dawson County Athletic Director Jason Gibson said this week. “As far as sports, we’re all just waiting on the (Georgia High School Association) to see what their recommendation is.”
Kevin Giddens, associate director for the GHSA, sent out the organization’s most recent update on Tuesday:
“In regard to reports from some media and social media outlets, NO DECISION has been made by GHSA regarding any timeline for any GHSA Sports to begin. All activities are currently suspended and we will release the plans for returning to training at the appropriate time. Please continue to refer to ghsa.net for any information regarding Sports or Activities.”
Normally this time of year golf, tennis, and track would be finishing up their seasons while baseball and soccer would be in the stretch drives of their playoffs. Not so this year.
Gainesville Athletic Director Adam Lindsey said he, like every system AD, is hoping for the best.
“I’m anticipating a phase-in by the GHSA to sports beginning in June,” Lindsey said. “But no one really knows for sure which way things will go right now.”
Most every system is slated to open the 2020-21 school in the first week of August and are gearing up to do just that. But no area system has definitively stated they are opening no matter what.
Both Hall County Director of Communications and Athletics Stan Lewis, and White County Assistant Superintendent Scott Justus, said their systems will look to the guidance of their boards of education, local health departments, the CDC, and the governor’s office and that “they won’t make any decisions alone.”
Rabun County AD Jaybo Shaw, like many of his counterparts, is watching closely for any word on the start of football season, especially summer and fall workouts.
“For me, that is the big thing right now,” Shaw said. “We’re like everyone else just waiting to see what the GHSA recommends. I’m hoping that we’ll hear in the next couple of weeks about the summer plans and when and/or if we can get started with football and the other fall sports.”