ROANOKE, Va. – Virginia’s Friday night lights are likely staying off this fall.
The Virginia High School League is no longer considering season proposals with fall high school football included. The VHSL announced their three final options Wednesday:
- Keeping all sports in their respective seasons, but cancelling fall contact sports such as football and volleyball;
- Switching the schedules of fall and spring sports;
- Starting all sports with the winter season, followed in March by traditional fall sports such as football.
The decision to push back football was expected by area athletic directors, such as Lord Botetourt’s Chuck Pound and William Byrd’s Jason Taylor.
“We didn’t see how, with everything going on, we were going to be able to play football in September or even October,” said Pound.
“I think all of us wish we were playing football in the fall, along with the other fall sports,” added Taylor.
Taylor said out of the three VHSL options, William Byrd’s coaches vastly prefer the last one.
“Model three at least gives all of our teams and all of our students some hope of having a season,” Taylor said.
However, high school athletics budgets will likely suffer because of the lack of football, according to Pound.
“At least 80% of our athletic funding is from football ticket sales,” Pound said. “New uniforms or new equipment...we may have to hold off on those for a year before we can get those back again.”
Pound and Taylor both say they are ready to adjust to whichever option VHSL decides, but Taylor admits it will be strange not having football in the fall.
“We all know what a Friday night looks like,” Taylor said. “Just trying to get adjusted is going to be tough. What are we going to do on Friday nights?”
The VHSL will vote on its preferred plan July 27.