LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - The Louisiana High School Athletic Association announced on Monday there will be no high school football until the state leaves phase 3 of its K-12 re-opening plan, leaving a lot of student athletes and coaches unsure about their return to the field.
“To be honest, over the last couple of weeks, I got the feeling that the season was going to look a lot different as far as if it was going to start on time or not,” Lake Arthur head coach Tarius Davis said.
The announcement wasn’t shocking for some local coaches who have been following the rise in COVID-19 cases in Southwest Louisiana.
“It puts it all into perspective that it’s going to be a while before we can get out on the football field and move towards having some sort of a football season,” Davis said.
“I think the LHSAA, in the end, will do everything in its power to assure these kids will have a senior football season,” Sam Houston head coach Chad Paulk said. “With what the seniors of last season just lost, you hate to see that happen again.”
While Bonine says he expects the season will be delayed, he says they have no intention of canceling the season. Lake Area coaches are willing to do whatever it takes to be able to spend at least a few Friday nights under the lights.
While LHSAA Executive Director Eddie Bonine says he expects the season will be delayed, they do not intend on canceling the season.
When the state enters phase 3, teams will be allowed to practice, but without contact. It’s unknown when that will happen.
However, Lake Area coaches are willing to do whatever it takes to spend at least a few Friday nights under the lights.
“It’s going to be different, but I don’t think it’s going to be anything we can’t handle. So, if we do get a chance to play, we’ll do what we have to do,” DeQuincy head coach Matt Dufrense said.
“Even when we get to that point where we allow full contact, most programs are going to want to do it safely. So, we’re going to need some time to make sure our kids are acclimated back out there full practicing before we put them out there in full competition,” Davis said. “I think this is a serious issue. Of course, I want it to be able to be done, but I want it to be done safely.”
Despite being aware of how dangerous coronavirus can be, Dufrense said to take it day by day.
“We’re just going to control what we can control what we can control and that’s ourselves. So, when we are supposed to work, we’ll work,” Dufrense said. “That’s really all we can do. We have no control over what happens.”