/As most delay or cancel football, Mississippi private schools will play ball soon

As most delay or cancel football, Mississippi private schools will play ball soon

The Mid-South Association of Independent Schools, the governing body of Mississippi’s private schools, will open its regular season Thursday, August 20. However, several private school teams from the state are expected to participate in football jamborees that include multiple teams on August 13 and 14. In a telephone conversation Wednesday morning, Shane Blanton (MAIS executive director) said that “We’re excited about getting started.” We believe we have a great plan. We are trying to do our best for our children.” The start of the football season in Mississippi has been delayed by the public high schools. They will resume play on Sept. 4. The Southeastern Conference delayed the start of its football season until Sept. 26. Southwestern Athletic Conference has delayed football season until spring. Nearly every day, there are changes to football plans across the country. The University of Connecticut (UConn), which was originally scheduled to play Ole Miss, cancelled its 2020 football season Wednesday. The 2020 season was delayed by Louisiana’s public high school on Wednesday. Greenwood-Leflore County Schools in Mississippi have joined Greenville High School to cancel fall sports. The unanimous decision was made by Greenville’s school board last week. Greenwood-Leflore’s school board voted 3-2 Tuesday. Greenwood-Leflore high school includes Amanda Elzy, Leflore County, and Greenwood high schools. This list could expand. Other school systems in the state are also known to be considering options. Gov. Tate Reeves did not issue an executive order regarding the playing of football but stated in his scheduled press conference Tuesday that “Nobody loves high school sports as much I do.” However, Tate Reeves said that he would focus first on the education and well-being of students. There are many high school sports that can be safely played. “I know this for certain: I don’t see any scenario where there can be large crowds in the stands to watch these games.” Dr. Thomas Dobbs, the State Health Officer, stated that his main concern would be for the fans, not the players. Dobbs stated that there is a risk to the players. “Despite that, there are not many 65-year olds playing out on the field. There would be stands and that could encourage community growth in the surrounding areas. If we were to play football in the next few weeks, the stands will need to be almost empty.” Dobbs replied that he wouldn’t allow football to take place given Mississippi’s current COVID-19 numbers. MAIS chief Blanton stated that his organization has a plan to increase football attendance. Blanton stated that for at least the first weekend we will be able to accommodate 25 percent of our capacity. We hope to raise that to 50% and maybe even beyond as the state’s numbers improve. Alabama is going 100 percent since the beginning.” Blanton stated that Alabama’s crowd limits will be enforced by the schools. Traditional rivalry games, such as those with Jackson Prep, Jackson Academy, and Madison-Ridgeland Academy, often fill the stadiums. MRA will play at Jackson Academy Sept. 4. It is a reasonable question: How will it decide who can and who cannot attend? Even better, who will tell grandparents, grandfathers, aunts, and uncles that you are not allowed to come in? Mississippi’s current state restrictions restrict gatherings to 10 people indoors, and 20 outdoors. They also require social distancing of 6 feet between people who don’t live in the same house. The “gathering” limit on the field will be exceeded by any football game. This includes the sidelines and the stands. You can’t block, tackle or block from more than six feet away.