NL Football Field

Could high school football stadiums in North Carolina still be empty in the fall? At North Lincoln, pictured above, the defending South Fork 2A Conference champions are hoping not.

With the latest Coronavirus numbers growing daily in the United States and in particular North Carolina, could the high school football season actually be played in the spring?

Some school systems in the state, such as Cabarrus County and Alamance-Burlington, have pushed back their athletic start date until at least July 20, and at this rate there is a good chance the date will be pushed back even more.

Since football brings in the majority of the gate money for the majority of the public high schools in the state, it seems that if schools are unable to play football, that other sports could also be cancelled. And none of us want that.

Never before has the term, "Think outside the box," been more appropriate. Over the next twelve months (at least), we may see high school sports as we’ve never seen them before.

I recently learned from a local source that a proposal is in the works in the state of Virginia to skip the fall sports season and attempt to start up winter sports on December 1.

The state of Virginia would play the winter sports seasons in two months, lasting until February 1, and then play the "postponed" fall sports seasons beginning on February 2.

Virginia high schools would play out their fall sports seasons in a three-month span, lasting through May 1, then playing the spring sports seasons from May 2 through July 1.

If those seasons played out well, the state of Virginia would plan to return to the normal high school sports schedules beginning in the fall of 2021.

This is a proposal, and while it has not been approved, it sounds like a pretty good backup plan. Though the seasons might be shortened a bit, all of the sports would get played.

We should all hope that there are numerous ideas and proposals being presented to and/or by the North Carolina High School Athletic Association at this time. Perhaps someone, or a group, will come up with the perfect plan or maybe it even takes a combination of proposals to find the right solution.

But right now, it’s hard to imagine the fall sports season starting up in August.

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