(LEX 18) — As of Thursday evening, at least a dozen high school football games had been cancelled due to COVID-19, but the commissioner of the Kentucky High School Athletic Association expects that number to grow.
"We know that number will go up tomorrow," Julian Tackett told LEX 18 on the eve of the start of the 2021 season. "Because it's an every five-minute thing; we get a call about somebody getting tested or getting exposed."
Tackett said that while the association does not keep track of data concerning vaccine rates, he suggested that teams that have most of their students vaccinated will be in a better position this season.
"They now know there's a fork in the road where if they make a choice and something happens, they may not like the fork they have to take," Tackett said. "But they'll get back on the road."
Unlike last year, there is no forfeit waiver this season, meaning that if a team is forced to cancel due to COVID-19, that team would be hit with a loss on its record. That team would, however, have the opportunity to reschedule the missed game and scrap the loss from its record.
Shawna Fitzpatrick, whose son returned to Anderson County High School for a fifth year of eligibility because of the pandemic, said this upcoming football season will be filled with uncertainty.
"It's nerve-wracking," she said. "I mean, this affects their future and they need these games to get the exposure they want."
Her son, Isaiah, returned to Anderson County High School after Governor Andy Beshear signed the 'Re-Do' bill into law last spring, allowing students to take a supplemental year of school that they may have missed because of the pandemic.
"[Isaiah] looks at this as a golden opportunity," Fitzpatrick said.
She just hopes that golden opportunity is not spoiled by the pandemic.