Prep football coaches across the area, and around the state, were like kids in a candy store Monday afternoon.
The GHSA's Board of Trustees voted unanimously to move forward with the high school football season on Monday but will push the start two weeks to Sept. 4. Teams will be allowed two scrimmages beginning on Aug. 21, and the playoffs will be as usual, just starting the Friday after Thanksgiving, normally the third round.
But most football coaches don't care about the dates as long as the season kicks off this year. AccessWDUN talked to several coaches around the area to find one common theme: it's a good decision.
Dawson County's Sid Maxwell ...
"I believe that’s a great decision to allow schools to adjust to the pandemic and monitor school safety. We are happy for the opportunity to compete in a 10-game schedule plus playoffs. Our players have been working hard all summer and deserve a complete season. I’m so proud that GHSA is driving forward to make this a reality."
Flowery Branch's Ben Hall ...
"It is a positive move in relation to the football schedule. But there are still many unanswered questions in regards to extra-curricular activities with so many systems going to virtual learning."
"This summer has been so limited and it was going to get even tighter. This is going to give us some breathing room to get ready for the season. I am also anticipating that they will push back the acclimation date."
Gainesville's Heath Webb ...
"I'm happy with the decision. First and foremost. I'm happy for our players that get to play the game they love. I was a bit concerned with the old calendar because we could get into pads on Aug. 1 and were set to have our first scrimmage on Aug. 7. This two-week delay gives us much-needed practice time in pads since we didn't get spring ball or summer camps. It's good for the game."
Rabun County's Jaybo Shaw ...
"I'm excited that we got some guidance and are going to play some high school football. I'm excited for our students, community, fans and, more importantly, our student-athletes and our players. I'm excited.
"That was one of my biggest concerns before we got the news today was just the acclimation time that we had, getting helmets kind of late and thing getting guys back in shape to make sure we're taking care of our players. That extra time is a little bit of relief to make sure we are doing everything we can."
White County's Tim Cokely ...
"It's always a positive move when they say they're working hard to get the season in. I think this is a good step in that direction. And we really want to play!"
"I think will also allow us to pace ourselves a little more, and that's good. We had just started going really hard and now, we can back off some and do things right."
"Also, I think starting the other (fall) sports on time is good as well."