The Shelby County School District has postponed the fall sports season until further notice, Shelby County Superintendent Joris Ray announced in a video that was posted on YouTube.
According to Ray, all fall sports teams can practice and do individual workouts but at this time not play.
You can watch the video here: https://youtu.be/mQCx9DAlhng
Shelby County is the only school system statewide that will not allow fall sports as Metro Nashville Public Schools announced last week that fall sports would continue at a later date.
Metro Nashville football coaches are hoping that their first game can be played next Friday, September 25.
“There is still far too much uncertainty to move forward with athletic practices and competitions at this time,” Ray said in a video.
“Our decision to postpone contact sports until further notice is yet another unimaginable consequence of an unprecedented time. We must lean on the guidance of health experts and not emotions. We want to play, your coaches want to play, and we still hope for the opportunity to do both when conditions improve.”
While the rest of the state has played four weeks of the regular season, 35 Memphis City Schools are immediately affected.
“When we started work on putting together our “Guidelines and Regulations” for Fall Sports participation during this pandemic, we realized that the ultimate decision as to whether or not any school would participate would be made by the local Board of Education or Head of School in our Independent schools. TSSAA totally respects the decision made by each member school or school system. They have to make the decision they feel is best for their students based on their situation,” TSSAA Executive Director Bernard Childress said.
Four regions 8-1A (nine teams), 8-2A (nine teams), 8-3A (five teams) and 8-6A (four teams) are comprised of strictly Memphis schools and will not play games at all.
Three other regions in 8-4A, 8-5A and 7-6A are a mix of Memphis area schools and non-Memphis teams which will effect playoff seedings when are playoffs start.
In region 8-4A, the winner of Fayette Ware and Millington will be the region champion while the loser will be the runner-up and they will receive region forfeit wins over Memphis teams Bolton and Craigmont.
Millington will travel to Fayette Ware in week nine for the region championship.
In region 8-5A, Brighton and Munford will battle for the region title on Friday and will then receive region forfeit wins over Memphis region opponents in Kingsbury, Kirby, Memphis Overton, Ridgeway and Southwind.
In region 7-6A, Cordova is the only region team that will not compete this fall as the other four teams in Arlington, Bartlett, Collierville and Houston will battle for playoff spots.
Superintendent Ray would like to see fall sports return but said they would continue to mentor COVID-19.
“When the curve flattens, and when we have 14 days of consecutive, maybe single-digit new cases, then we can talk about returning back to the classroom. But right now, as you know, we have triple-digit numbers every day,” Ray said.
“Given the risks and exposure for them and their families, not to mention the unknown long-term health impact of this virus, we must also consider the impact on multi-generational families and the sobering fact that unlike many private school families, many of our students don’t have access to specialists, health insurance, urgent care and frequent testing.”
“I love athletics, just as much as anyone else. But even as a sports fan, I love our student athletes more than athletics,” Ray continued. “
Here are the regions that contain Memphis teams.
*Teams playing football this season
8-1A- Booker T. Washington, Bluff City, Freedom Prep, MASE, Memphis East, Memphis Business Academy, Oakhaven, Middle College and Westwood
8-2A- Fairley, Manassas, KIPP Academy, Douglass, Hamilton, Hillcrest, MAHS, Mitchell and Trezevant
8-3A- Melrose, MLK Prep, Raleigh Egypt, Sheffield and Wooddale
8-4A- Bolton and Craigmont, *Fayette Ware and *Millington
8-5A- Kingsbury, Kirby, Memphis Overton, Ridgeway and Southwind, *Brighton and *Munford
7-6A- Cordova, *Arlington, *Bartlett, *Collierville and *Houston
8-6A- Germantown, Memphis Central, Whitehaven and White Station
Contact Donovan at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter at Examine_Stew