2020 Football Week 1 (Full Speed Ahead in Indiana)
The Covid-19 virus that practically ruined state basketball playoffs in both Indiana and Kentucky last March has held on through the summer, resulting in Kentucky's high school football season being delayed until just after Labor Day, with an extension on the back end into the first week of November.
Indiana, meanwhile, is one of the few states to actually start its season on time, although a bevy of measures are going into place. Beyond staying 6 feet apart, wearing masks and making sure everything and everyone are kept clean, the IHSAA decided to limit attendance at each game to 250. Also, look for each team to have extended sideline boundaries.
And with not as many people interested in officiating football games, look for fewer officials, and the eventual possibility that some games later this season could move to Thursday or Saturday.
While getting the games in will matter, the uncertainty of a persistent pandemic makes the idea of playing football versus keeping everyone safe a big dilemma.
Despite Indiana going full speed ahead (save for 4 schools in Hammond that decided to cancel their seasons), the Kentucky delay affected three area teams' opening matchups. Providence scratched its home game against Bethlehem of Bardstown, KY. Same with Floyd Central at home against Kentucky 6A runners-up Male, and Jeffersonville at Fern Creek.
Instead, Floyd and Jeff. chose to face each other in the August 21st season opener at the Highlanders' Weigleb Stadium. Added to their scheduled game September 18th at the Red Devils' remodeled Blair Field, that means a rare regular season home-and-home series.
Down the road, it's New Albany hosting a Bloomington South team that made it to last year's Indiana 5A semifinals. Over in Clarksville, the Generals will try to avenge a narrow loss from last year when they host Scottsburg. And then, on Saturday, August 22nd, it’s the "Battle of 403" between Silver Creek and Charlestown, at the Pirates' Dutch Reis Field, which will also sport new turf.
With this season being so different, here's hoping everyone stays safe, and that few cancellations happen. As always, you can keep up with the action by checking the ticker on our homepage at GLICOD.com.