LHSAA unveils fall plan

By Rodrick Anderson, American Press

After a specially called Executive Committee meeting Wednesday, Aug. 5, the Louisiana High School Athletic Association announced new start dates for two fall sports and affirmed the dates of two others.

Football games will start on Oct. 8 with an eight-game regular season, starting with Week 3 opponents, while the volleyball season will start Sept. 8, a week later than originally scheduled.

The Aug. 31 start date for cross country and swimming remained unchanged.

The fall schedule changes became necessary when Gov. John Bel Edwards announced Tuesday that the state would remain in Phase 2 at least through Aug. 28.

The LHSAA said its plan is still contingent on the state moving to Phase 3 by the start of September. The state will have to move beyond Phase 3 for football games to resume.

Despite having two games canceled, LaGrange head coach Marrico Wilson said he sees the LHSAA’s announcement as a positive because players now have something to work towards.

“I think it is an attainable date,” Wilson said. “Now there is actually a goal with a start date. With them setting that date, it was good for everybody.
“Eight games will be good. That would give us four (nondistrict) games and four district games. It is a lot better than having nothing. With what is going on, you fear for the season, and you really want them to have a season, especially the ones that have been playing for four years.

“I am really happy (the LHSAA) came up with a tentative date. That was big.”

Fall sports had been in limbo since the coronavirus pandemic since mid-March when most of the nation’s sports leagues — professional, college and high school — shut down.

Since then there were fears that fall sports would meet the same fate, but Sam Houston head volleyball coach Rene Fontenot said she was relieved to have a plan in place despite the cancellation of Week 1 matches and tournaments.

“I am very glad to know something,” she said. “This looks like a good start date. It is doable. Our kids are going to be back in school by then. I understand all the restrictions. There are valid concerns.

“At the end of the day, I just want to play, and that is the same thing the girls want. I know all of my kids and parents just want a plan. We were so tired of being in limbo.”