By Andy Diffenderfer, Sports Editor
GHSA gives green light to fall sports
Rabun County High fall sports have a clearer timetable after the Georgia High School Association (GHSA) board of trustees voted unanimously Monday to delay the launch of football season for two weeks and not cut any games.
The GHSA confirmed a standard 10-game regular season football schedule, with the first week of games Sept. 4, and five full rounds of playoffs.
Other fall sports will be unaffected, according to RCHS head football coach and athletic director Jaybo Shaw.
“They’re rocking and rolling, their start dates stay the same and nothing changes with their schedules,” he said Tuesday.
With four South Carolina opponents on the Wildcats’ original football schedule, Shaw undertook the chore of refilling half of it after that state voted to push back the start of practice until Aug. 17 and allow a maximum seven-game schedule starting Sept. 11. Another original opponent, Riverside Military Academy of Gainesville, opted not to field a team due to the COVID-19 threat.
“It’s tough, but it’s the hand were dealt and we’ll make the best of it,” Shaw said.
Of Rabun’s original South Carolina foes, Greenwood, Walhalla and Pickens have been replaced. As of Tuesday, he was still looking to replace Daniel, which was slated for the Aug. 21 opener in Tiger.
Shaw confirmed the new opponents Rabun has brought aboard are schools which had first scheduled South Carolina foes too.
A new schedule could be finalized by the end of the week.
“I cannot announce them until I’ve got contracts signed,” he said.
Shaw started working on a contingency plan around mid-May in case COVID-19 disrupted scheduling efforts.
“After talking with some of the coaches that have South Carolina schools, I just had a gut feeling that it would change, and I’d better get on the hop as far as finding other schools,” he said.
The delay, he said, gives his gridders more time to get acclimated. The first day of true practice is next Monday.
“We were just able to put helmets on yesterday,” he said. “Now we get to get ready to go play. Now you can start lining some things up and putting together your calendar.”
As of Tuesday, Shaw had not heard from the GHSA how attendance at football games will be mandated.
“That’s what I’m waiting on as far as the AD (athletic director) side of it,” he said.
The RCHS softball team will visit Flowery Branch for an Aug. 4 scrimmage, and then welcome Clarke Central in the Aug. 7 regular-season opener. Volleyball will open Aug. 11 at East Hall, part of a three-team playday with North Hall.