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New proposal includes prep football kicking off in November, report says

An option drafted by the state's high school governing body would push back the entire prep calendar.
Plant High football players go through agility work last summer. For now, the first permissible fall sports practices in Florida can't begin until Aug. 24, but that date could change.
Plant High football players go through agility work last summer. For now, the first permissible fall sports practices in Florida can't begin until Aug. 24, but that date could change. [ Times (2019) ]
Published Jul. 29, 2020

In its ongoing, sometimes convoluted effort to launch a fall sports season, the Florida High School Athletic Association reportedly has drafted another set of sports calendar options for the 2020-21 academic year.

The plan, acquired by the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, features three options. The first two would keep the fall season mostly intact, albeit with some calendar tweaks, and possibly no conventional state series in Option Two.

Option Three, the most radical, calls for football practice to begin Nov. 30 with the regular season ending Jan. 23. Volleyball, cross country, bowling, competitive cheer and girls weightlifting also would be held in this season.

The winter season’s practices would start Feb. 15, with the regular season running through April 3. Flag football and tennis would join the conventional winter sports slate (basketball, wrestling, soccer). Spring sports would begin practice April 26; the regular season would end June 12.

The options reportedly were emailed earlier this week to members of the association’s various sports advisory committees. The association’s board of directors, which could vote for one or none of the options, meets again Aug. 17.

“I would rather start in a time that is deemed safe for the players and the students and the fans to be able to come in, and the players to practice and play safely,” Hillsborough football coach Earl Garcia said. “If that means January or February, I’d rather do that than to come out and play a five-game season starting in November.”

The board voted last week to push back the start of fall sports practice to Aug. 24. That date would remain intact under Option One.

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