Again to regular? Excessive College Soccer Receives TSSAA Steerage | Sports activities
After so many rules, regulations and restrictions in the 2020 preseason for high school soccer teams due to the pandemic, the TSSAA announcement last week was a breath of fresh air across the state.
At the Audit Committee meeting, the TSSAA voted to allow schools to return to their normal preseason schedule set out on the organization’s calendar.
West Ridge football coach Justin Hilton said one word described his reaction to the decision.
“Relief,” said Hilton. “After all of the logs we went through last year, it’s just a relief to know that things are starting to look normal.”
Since West Ridge is a new school, it is of course important for Hilton to have flexibility for everyday football. Add to this the fact that West Ridge has one of the highest numbers of players for any school in the area.
“We’re at 101 for grades nine through twelve,” said Hilton. “I thought it could be anywhere between 75 and 110. What we have is a good number. We had children who didn’t play in other schools. We will have a well-stocked junior university team. “
Science Hill football coach Stacy Carter said it was nice to go back to the old days.
“The kids are ready, and we’re all excited that it’s mostly normal,” Carter said. “We went to Greeneville and played 7 against 7. And last Thursday we went to the University of Tennessee for a 7 against 7 and it was wide open.”
Carter’s team stood behind eight ball in 2020, a young group that had no preseason games to prepare for the season.
“And then our first game was against (eventual Class 4A state champion) Elizabethton,” Carter said. “This year our boys are flavorful, but every time you can scrimmage it helps.”
The fall scrimmages will be the first since the fall of 2019. The Tennessee soccer teams were able to hold spring training this year, but were unable to do their annual scrimmage.
“We did everything in spring practice except scrimmage,” said Carter, who was without a baseball player when that team rolled through to the AAA state championship.
Here’s a look at other items the oversight committee addressed during an agenda that was one of the largest in years, with nearly 50 items to be addressed by the board.
WHAT WILL AUTUMN LOOK LIKE?
Matthew Gillespie, deputy general manager of TSSAA, said no decision has yet been made regarding whether or not to participate in regular season football matches.
“The rules in place for the spring were at least recommended capacity limits to allow social distancing,” said Gillespie. “But there weren’t any mandates for a third or a quarter of attendance this spring. In the worst case, this should carry over to autumn. Things could easily be less restrictive or they could be back to normal. “
Other board positions approved a two-year extension to maintain Murfreesboro’s state basketball tournaments and Spring Fling through the 2022-23 school year.
As for bowling, the Smyrna Bowling Center and Hendersonville Strike & Spare have submitted bids to host the state tournament for the next two years. The Smyrna Bowling Center has been chosen to continue to host what it has done since the sport was approved by the TSSAA 20 years ago.
However, several changes have been made to bowling. The team format will consist of an American 10-pin game and five Baker games. In addition, individuals qualify for the state tournament by participating in one of four section events. Qualifications are based on the total pinfall after six games.
The board voted to allow a student-athlete record to be broadcast to a county-run virtual school under existing rules that allow broadcasts based on a student reassignment by the school district.
As an emergency measure, the board decided to offer two options for virtual school sports programs: the school can set up its own teams, or the students can participate in their zoned public school.
Here is a list of schools that have applied for and been approved for membership in the TSSAA: Johnson City Virtual Academy, Greene Online Academy of Learning, Roane County Virtual Academy, Rutherford County Virtual School, The iLearn Institute at Lenoir City, Collierville Virtual Academy, EB Wilson High School, VITAL (Virtual Instruction to Accentuate Learning), WCS (Williamson County Schools) Online, Jackson Academic Steam Academy, Pioneer Virtual Academy and Germantown Online School of Learning.
University High’s Emily Morgan recently made her college election official.
She signed a contract to play softball at Cumberland University in Lebanon.
As a four year old starter with the Lady Buccaneers, Morgan was invited to play for Team USA in Spain to promote the sport among people of all nationalities. She also carried a 3.5 GPA.