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Two Alabama school systems opt out of 2020 football season

Birmingham, AL – A pair of Alabama school systems have elected to cancel fall sports for the first nine weeks of the season. The decision effectively puts an end to the 2020 football season for Greene County and Sumter Central high schools.

Officials from both the Greene County and Sumter County schools systems have confirmed the decision to multiple media outlets. The report was first made public by Fox 6 in Birmingham.

Right now, we have an infection rate of 348 confirmed cases and 15 deaths in the last 14 days in Sumter County” Sumter County superintendent Dr. Anthony Gardner told AL.com. “We can’t risk the lives and well-being of our citizens, our children and our employees. Children are getting sick all over this country, and the risk is too great for our community and our children. After nine weeks we will reevaluate the numbers in our county, look at what we can do to move forward,” he said. “Hopefully, this will not impact our basketball season and, hopefully, others will understand how important this is and how football is not as important for our children’s safety.”

Dr. Anthony Gardner, Superintendent – Sumter County Schools

The decision will also delay the start of the school’s volleyball and cross country seasons. Both school districts have opted to begin the first nine weeks of school with virtual learning instead of on-campus instruction.

The Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) released guidelines for program’s to follow as teams return to the gridiron this week. Teams are open to begin fall camp today with games kicking off August 20th. According to AHSAA guidelines, if a team is unable to play, it will result in a forfeit victory for the opposing team.

Sumter Central competes in Class 4A, Region 3 with American Christian, Bibb County, Dallas County, Holt, Montevallo, West Blocton and Wilcox Central. The Jaguars were slated to open 2020 August 28th on the road at Choctaw County.

The Green County Tigers were scheduled to kickoff the season, at home against Aliceville, on August 21st. The Tigers Class 2A, Region 1 foes include Clarke County, Orange Beach, Leroy, St. Luke’s, Washington County and J.U. Blacksher.