EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) It’s been a bumpy ride at times during the high school football season thanks to COVID.
But, we are nearing the finish line
The Indiana finals are this weekend and in Kentucky, it’s the second round of the playoffs.
And as Blake Sandlin explains, those teams we cover on Friday nights were thrilled to have a season this year.
The high school football season in Kentucky and Indiana is nearing its end, a milestone that hardly seemed possible back in July. While the state of Illinois opted to push its season to the spring because of the pandemic, Kentucky and Indiana played on. But a recent surge in coronavirus cases in the Tri-State begs the question was playing football, the right decision.
Southridge head coach Scott Buening says, “These kids are going to go find something to do. And you know, they’re not meant to be cooped up, they’re not going to stay cooped up. And, and so you’ve got two choices, either, you know, you move forward, surrounding them with the school environment, or you move forward, surrounding them with who knows who.”
Castle’s Doug Hurt adds, “I thinthere are a lot of other things that are more harmful to kids than than COVID. And so, you know, I’m speaking solely on on my behalf. But you know, we’ve had very little COVID exposure within the program, all of it has been secondary contacts.
EVSC limited fan attends to 500 tickets per game 250 tickets for each team. It also required that family sit together and maintain six feet of distance from other fans. Those restrictions may for an unusually tame season, but teams are just happy to be playing a season at all.
Central head coach Sean Coultis says, “I’ll tell you what, like, I’m just glad we got to finish the summer. I don’t even know if we’re gonna finish practice in the summer, then we get into the games and you know, hear about different states not playing and, you know, people that had to forfeit or cancel games and you’re just crossing your fingers.”
“I’m really proud of our decision makers and our leaders. Whether you’re talking school, I just say whatever, for being responsible about what they’ve done about taking best practices about evolving and doing what was best for these kids.”
Despite the protocols in place teams in the tri state have not been immune to COVID spread schools like North Posey castle, Boonville, and Tell City all dealt with COVID-19 cases and contact tracing that resulted in canceled games this year. But while the pandemic has created headaches for schools and teams alike, some coaches believe their players are better because of it.
Henderson Co. head coach Josh Boston says, “I think our kids have matured a lot through this process to you know, learn how to handle situations, learn how to how to be responsible with their interactions in the public, how to be responsible in school. It’s definitely matured our kids in a way that something else never would have done.”
(This story was originally published on Nov. 26, 2020)