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Fate of football, soccer seasons uncertain
Dante Elam 1.jpg
The season for Dante Elam and the rest of the Warren County High School football team hangs in the balance as the TSSAA continues its discussions with the governor’s office about how to proceed with fall sports.

The Ivy League announced Wednesday it has canceled all competitive sports for the rest of the year, making it the first NCAA Division I conference to take such action.

Will Tennessee high school sports be next?

The TSSAA Board of Control held a special called meeting Wednesday to discuss plans for the upcoming seasons for high school football and girls soccer. The board was expected to make a decision, but instead delayed action.

Afterwards, TSSAA executive director Bernard Childress issued a statement that didn’t sound glowing for sports enthusiasts.

“If we have any chance of having fall sports, we encourage everyone to wear a mask, maintain physical distancing, and wash hands to help everyone reach the goal of getting the numbers down,” said Childress. “The return on that investment would be that we do get to have fall sports on time this year.”

The Warren County High School football season is scheduled to begin Aug. 21 at DeKalb County, followed by a home game Aug. 28 against Cannon County.

However, Gov. Bill Lee has extended his COVID-19 state of emergency until Aug. 29. His order encourages residents to stay at home if at all possible and to practice social distancing to fight the spread of coronavirus.

On Wednesday, Tennessee reported its highest number of new coronavirus cases -- 2,472 new cases in one day, according to the state Department of Health. In Warren County, the number jumped by 19 new cases in one day.

With the number of new cases going the wrong way, the TSSAA decided not to vote on football and girls soccer seasons on Wednesday.

“We are working with the governor’s legal counsel and based on the conversation we are having, we think it is best to delay any vote on a contingency plan,” said Childress. “The governor’s legal counsel stated that they need time to observe the data and work with us.”

Childress continued, “Their legal counselors are well aware of the TSSAA sports calendar and we will work to get an answer as soon as we can. TSSAA will not be making any further comment as the discussions with the governor’s legal counsel are ongoing.”

The next scheduled meeting for the TSSAA Board of Control is a classification study session July 22 at the Siegel High School cafeteria. Social distancing and capacity limits will be enforced and masks will be required for all in attendance.