The Flagler County school district today announced it will start fall sports on Sept. 5, two weeks after the start of the fall semester. The district had postponed all fall sports indefinitely on July 22 as covid-19 cases were still surging in the county. Cases have declined in the past few days, relative to the July surge.
Fall sports include football, bowling, golf, swimming, cross country, and volleyball.
“Flagler Schools has had a successful pre-season of conditioning for our fall sports, with our teams adhering to a phase-in approach to returning our teams to the field or gym,” a district statement issued this afternoon said. “The announcement by the Florida High School Athletic Association okaying August 24th as a start date for high school athletic practices has prompted a number of questions about plans for Flagler-Palm Coast High School and Matanzas High School.”
Disregarding its own medical advisory committee, FHSAA pushed to have all fall sports proceed as originally scheduled, then gave districts some flexibility in implementing their seasons’ schedules.
David Bossardet, the district’s safety specialist, met with the athletic directors of each high school and received input from all fall sports coaches and some student-athletes, concluding on Saturday, September 5 as the official start date. Until that date, the current conditioning programs remain in place.
“I recognize the importance of athletics to many of our students and our community,” Superintendent Cathy Mittelstadt was quoted as saying in the district’s release. “But we need to ensure we are doing all we can do to provide a safe environment for all our students and staff, including our athletic programs.”
The release described the district’s “pause” in fall sports as allowing it to concentrate on the August 24th initial return to campus for students and staff.
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