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Local coaches, players react to MHSAA’s decision on fall sports

West Lauderdale quarterback Eli Bryan waits for the snap during the 2019 game against...
West Lauderdale quarterback Eli Bryan waits for the snap during the 2019 game against Philadelphia(WTOK Sports)
Published: Jul. 15, 2020 at 11:17 PM CDT
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MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - When the Mississippi High School Activities Association voted to delay the fall sports season by two weeks, most people reacted positively to the decision.

With the coronavirus causing the spring sports season to be cancelled, players that compete in fall sports wondered if they would be met with the same fate. After the MHSAA announced that would not be the decision made for now, many local players were pleased to hear they may have a chance to play.

“I was worried that we weren’t going to get to have our senior season,” West Lauderdale linebacker Mick McNeil said. “Then when we got to come out and practice that was a relief and now that we’re getting to play a season that just excites me.”

There is a lot of excitement surrounding the decision but there is no guarantee the decision will stick.

In a statement released by the MHSAA, Executive Director Don Hinton shared his support of the decision by the Executive Committee but warned they will make adjustments if need be.

“We believe this is the right decision at the right time,” Hinton said. “As we’ve said since last spring, this is an unprecedented and rapidly changing situation where new information can and will alter plans and schedules at any time.”

Philadelphia head football coach David Frey believes the two week delay will give the MHSAA time to evaluate if virus cases spike when kids return to school.

“I thought it was a smart move to see how we adjust in the school setting first,” Frey said. “Then if it gets out of hand of course they (the MHSAA) would have to readjust, so it gives them a little time to see how school works with the kids being in classrooms and all that.”

West Lauderdale head football coach Brock Clay acknowledge the MHSAA could change its mind but is happy to have something to look forward to with his team in the meantime.

”With the situation that we are all in right now you really never know what’s going to take place from day to day so we’re very pleased with the opportunity to go out and play,” Clay explained. “I know the kids and parents I have talked to have all been ready and trying to get back to a sense of normalcy.”

With the new fall schedule, football teams can begin practicing in pads on Aug 24. with the first day of competition being slated for Sept. 4. The first two games of the season have been eliminated in order to keep the fall season on track.

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