Ohio HS football continues on, even with NCAA in doubt

DeWine will determine the fate of the season
File photo.
File photo.(Source: https://ohsaa.org/)
Published: Aug. 10, 2020 at 7:22 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - With college football conferences bowing out, the MAC over the weekend, the Mountain West conference on Monday, and with the Power 5 schools reportedly on the verge of shutting down, one has to wonder how the high schools are still planning on playing. St. Edward football Head Coach Tom Lombardo feels that is not an apples to apples comparison. “I would say colleges, you’re coming from a lot of different areas and you’re spreading out playing more.,” said Lombardo. “High school you’re playing in the state of Ohio and mostly local. The kids are mostly in the same league which is around the same geographic area.”

Lombardo admits it is strange to be practicing for high school games as some of the colleges are pressing pause. “It’s almost surreal. You’re friends with a lot of these coaches in the MAC and the Big Ten,” said Lombardo. “They come into your school often and you know the passion they have for the game and everything. As a high school coach you worry if the Governor sees that, then what’s his next move in terms of high school football.”

High schools in Ohio are practicing, but they have not been reckless. Locker rooms are not being used, film sessions and anything else indoors have been drastically reduced, players bring their own water bottles and nothing is shared. They arrive ready to practice, go through drills and then leave in uniform, showering at home. Temperatures are taken daily upon arrival and masks are worn by players until they step on the field, coaches wear them at all times.

Lombardo says so far, this has worked, and at times even feels like normal. “As we are practicing, it feels normal in those two hours. But in the back of my mind, I have thought I would feel so awful for these kids if it was just exercise all summer long and then they took the season away.”

That decision will be made by Governor Mike DeWine.

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