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Twiggs County High won’t play football in 2020

ajc.com

Twiggs County, a Class A public school in Middle Georgia, won’t play football this fall because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The school board announced earlier that its schools would open Aug. 17 through a virtual platform-only with no extracurricular activities.

'‘Football was included in the no extracurricular activities,’' Twiggs County principal Jamal Harris told the AJC on Thursday. “It was a hard decision, and we didn’t want to go that route, but in talking with the board of education, they voted that if the students are not going to school, they didn’t believe they should have extracurricular activities.‘'

Twiggs County, about 15 miles southeast of Macon, plays in Region 7-A Public with Crawford County, Georgia Military College, Hancock Central, Warren County and Hancock Central. Those schools and Twiggs’ other five opponents are now down one game on their schedules.

The Georgia High School Association has indicated that backing out of contracts won’t incur fines because of the concern over COVID-19.

Twiggs County has gone 1-29 over the past three seasons, but fielded some strong teams historically, with three region championships and four 10-win seasons since 2000.

Harris said the reaction to the school board’s decision generally has been positive.

‘‘I may have had a couple of football players reach out, and they’re disappointed,’’ Harris said. “I haven’t gotten much backlash from parents. We had a lot of staff that was high-risk and were reluctant to return to the classroom, so that’s why we had to go virtual.‘'

Harris said the plan for virtual learning is for the initial nine weeks of the academic year and could be lifted in time for basketball and other winter sports.

Twiggs County is believed to be the second GHSA school to announce it isn’t playing football this fall. Riverside Military Academy, also a Class A school, made its decision in May. Pinecrest Academy, a Class A private school in Forsyth County, is playing eight-man football this season in lieu of its GHSA schedule.

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