LEXINGTON, Ky. (WDKY) – Kentucky managed to get through the high school football season during a pandemic.
Athletes were on the field, cheerleaders were on the sidelines and fans were in the stands.
Friday, Nov. 13, would have been the start of Kentucky’s high school football playoffs, but, like so many things, those plans have been changed because of COVID-19.
There have been multiple games canceled this year because of COVID, but overall, the Kentucky High School Athletic Association Commissioner Julian Tackett says he’s pleased with how the football season has played out.
“We’ve not seen the outbreaks among teams, we’ve not seen the outbreaks traced back to the ball games. People have done a remarkable job of keeping sports safe,” Tackett said.
However safe the games may be, the state as a whole is seeing numbers rise. So, the KHSAA decided to push back the start of the football playoffs to give schools more time to work on their safety plans.
“Gives them a chance to ask themselves can you still socially distance with 50% restriction attendance? And realistically you probably can’t,” Tackett said.
Their suggestion is 20 percent of capacity in the stands. That number goes even lower for indoor winter sports like basketball, 15 percent.
During Monday’s school board meeting, Fayette County decided they’ll be limiting fans at games to two immediate family members per student-athlete for the rest of the year.
Tackett says he knows families will have to make some tough choices, but it’s worth it if games can continue.
“I’m concerned about those students and this is a life lesson from last spring,” Tackett said. “Those students last spring lost this opportunity. So we and our schools partner together and said what do we have to do to not lose the opportunity this time?”
The championship games for each of the state’s six football classes are scheduled to be played at Kroger Field starting December 18.