With the date set for fall prep sports to resume full practices, Mayfield and Graves County coaches and players have a better view of how the 2020 season will take shape.
At least for the time being.
The Kentucky High School Athletics Association (KHSAA) Board of Control voted Tuesday to maintain the fall sports season with teams adjusting from workouts to practices beginning Aug. 24 with competition beginning Sept. 7 for soccer, volleyball and cross country and Sept. 11 for football.
Golf’s first day of competition is today (Friday) with Mayfield and Graves teams scheduled to play in the Murray Tiger Invitational at Murray Country Club.
Regarding football, Eagles head coach Nick Kemp said he and his staff and squad are both ready to move on from the workouts they and other teams have been doing as the KHSAA worked to prepare for 2020-21 athletics during the current coronavirus pandemic.
“We’re glad school is starting up and our boys are playing football,” he said. “It would have been disappointing if football wasn’t going to happen. I texted the seniors and they’re all excited about it.”
While golf had been given the green light to practice with social distancing guidelines in place, the remaining fall sports will be limited to 7 ½ hours of practice the week of Aug. 24, then go to full practices the following week of Aug. 31. Mayfield head football coach Joe Morris explained following the first week of helmet practice, teams will then be allowed to use shoulder pads for three days before practicing in full gear.
The next week, then, would be preparation week for the first football games of 2020.
“It’s going to be a quick turnaround before we play our first game and we’ve only got three weeks to prepare,” Morris said. “As coaches, we wish we had a little more time than that but we’re just happy to play some games and we’ll see what happens.”
The Cardinals will open at McCracken County, then play at Graves County (Sept. 18), host Fort Campbell (Sept. 25), Caldwell County (Oct. 2) and Paducah Tilghman (Oct. 9) on what would have been an off week for Mayfield. They will then have two road games at Ballard Memorial (Oct. 16) and Murray (Oct. 23), then host Madisonville-North Hopkins (Oct. 30) and Fulton County (Nov. 6).
Graves County’s opener on Sept. 11 will be at Paducah Tilghman then home on Sept. 18 for Mayfield and the “Battle of the Birds.” The Eagles will then travel to Class 5A First District games against Breckenridge County (Sept. 25) and Ohio County (Oct. 2). They will host Grayson County (Oct. 9), Muhlenberg County (Oct. 23) and Marshall County (Oct. 30) with two additional regular season road games to Owensboro (Oct. 16) and McCracken County (Nov. 6).
Each postseason round in the football playoffs were moved back a week and will begin Nov. 13-14 with championships set for Dec. 11-12.