A tentative start date to the football season has been set. The season will not start until the week of Oct. 8, according to a memo LHSAA executive director Eddie Bonine sent out to schools last Wednesday.
The memo also noted Sept. 8 as the start date of the volleyball season while cross country and swimming is expected to begin Aug. 31.
All fall plans are contingent on Louisiana advancing past Phase 2 into Phase 3 of reopening by the end of August.
The original fall sports schedule was supposed to begin Aug. 24 with jamborees for football and volleyball, while the regular season for fall sports was set for Aug. 31.
As of now, the postponement means that when play begins, teams would play their Week 3 opponent to kick things off.
Unfortunately, that start means that West Baton Rouge Parish will be stripped of the Sugarcane Classic rivalry game between Brusly and Port Allen, which was slated for Week 1.
The classic rivalry game won’t happen this season but Port Allen coach Don Gibson said he was pleased with Wednesday’s news.
“It’s something that we understand,” Gibson said. “I’m just glad that we have some type of target date. It gave us as coaches, and the kids hope that we’ll have a football season.”
Gibson said the postponed start date helps out younger players.
“This helps us,” he said. “It allows younger guys to get caught up. Right now we’ll just take it slow with everyone from a conditioning standpoint and take care of their bodies and ease into the build up leading into the season.”
The LHSAA has models for six-game, seven-game and eight-game regular seasons. There won’t be any jamborees or scrimmages in the two weeks leading up to the start of the season. The LHSAA also nixed the idea of competing 7-on-7 against other teams.
As it stands, the other opponent outside of Brusly that Port Allen would lose on its schedule is Donaldsonville.
In addition to losing the Sugar Cane Classic, Brusly won’t play its Week 2 game against Alexandria.
“We lost the Brusly game (on the schedule) and that hurt the kids,” Gibson admitted. “They were disappointed but they understood. We just want to have a chance to play football but in the best and safest way possible.”
Volleyball begins practice
In a memo sent to its schools Friday, the LHSAA announced that volleyball teams would be allowed to begin practice on Aug. 10.
Static groups of no more than 25 people indoors and outdoors are allowed.
If more than two groups are present indoors, which includes gyms, the groups must be separated by a wall or partition.