With the resurgence of COVID across the state, there are concerns that schools may be shut down and football season pushed back or worse.
Iberia Parish football coaches are monitoring the situation closely and while most of them don’t feel that the season will be postponed or pushed back, they are concerned that there may be games lost during the season that gets underway next week with fall scrimmages followed by the jamborees and the start of the season in three weeks.
“I don’t think that the season will be pushed back,” Delcambre coach Artie Liuzza said. “But I am worried that we may lose some games during the regular season.
“It’s not something that we can control but it’s something that we have to think could possibility that could happen.”
Those sentiments were echoed by Jeanerette head football coach C.C. Paul.
“That’s one of my biggest concerns,” Paul said. “I was talking to one of my teaching buddies in another (school) system and she was telling me that there are already schools that have been hit hard by COVID that already have shut down and school just started.
“Right now, I don’t see the season being pushed back, but I think that we could lose some games during the season.”
Both Paul and Liuzza said that they are back to stringent protocols with COVID, especially after Abbeville High’s football program was shut down for two weeks due to a positive test.
“We’re wearing masks in the weight room and keeping distant as much as we can,” Paul said. “A lot of my kids have been vaccinated, so that helps,”
Highland Baptist coach Rick Hutson is taking a wait-and-see approach.
“You think about last year and we lost two games to COVID at the start of the season and we lost another game to the hurricane. So we don’t want to go through that again,” Hutson said. “We’re doing everything we can, wearing masks in the locker room and the weight room, in order to not have to repeat last year.”
Loreauville coach Terry Martin is also taking a wait-and-see approach while doing everything to keep his kids safe.
“I don’t think that the season will be pushed back.” Martin said. “The general thought is that the kids need to have some type of interaction.
“Just talking to some of the people who the committees that deal with COVID. They really feel that it is important for the kids to have some sort of normalcy and interaction with other kids. So right now, unless it gets worse or extended, the plan is to have a normal football season and have everything on time.
“But I think that people are worried that we could lose games during the season. Just through contact tracing you could lose five or six kids in the blink of an eye and that will affect everything with preparations for games. That’s what everyone is afraid of more than losing games.”
So for now, Iberia Parish football coaches are like most people, taking precautions as much as they can but waiting and seeing if the surge will affect the football season.