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GHSA calls off preseason football games, postpones cheer and one-act play
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The Georgia High School Association announced on Thursday, Aug. 6 that all football scrimmages are called off.

GHSA executive director Robin Hines released the news around midday on the website for the governing body of high school sports, which contradicted his statement the day prior that no changes would be made stemming from its weekly meetings with the Sports Medicine Advisory Council.

Hines said the regular season will still kick off Sept. 4, a decision made July 22 to try and curtail COVID-19 cases across the state. Other states across the country have pushed back football season even further into the fall, while others like California and Virginia said football would not be played in the fall of 2020.

However, no football scrimmages add to mounting complications since spring sports stopped on March 13 last season. Football programs in Forsyth County had no spring practice, which pushed one of two scrimmages to later in the month.

Media reports swirled Wednesday that the GHSA was going to shut down the preseason schedule, but the GHSA’s statement Wednesday seemed to indicate that those were just rumors.

The GHSA’s announcement Thursday made it clear that it was not just sensational headlines coming from insiders in meetings at headquarters in Thomaston.

Now, questions arise about the decision-making of the GHSA and whether it is strictly a reaction to what higher levels of football have decided. The University of Georgia and Southeastern Conference, for example, decided last week to go to a conference-only schedule and set Sept. 26 as the date the season will begin.
In addition, the GHSA moved competitive cheerleading to winter and one-act play to spring.

Cheer teams may continue to practice, but now their season will not start until Nov. 21 and state championships will be held Feb. 26-27, 2021.

Information from The Times (Gainesville) contributed to this story.