High School Football in the Fall is Back as VHSL Releases Schedule
There was something missing last year as the calendar pages flipped through August, September and October.
Unlike previous years, Friday nights weren’t filled with bands, cheerleaders, buckets of popcorn and — most importantly — high school football.
The COVID-19 pandemic meant an abbreviated football season in the spring with few to no fans.
Normalcy will return this fall.
The Virginia High School League released the master schedule for high school football Thursday — just two weeks before the first practices of the season on July 29.
Phoebus coach Jeremy Blunt hailed the announcement of the VHSL master schedule as a positive step in the wake of a year altered by COVID-19.
“For us to have a full schedule in place is very promising,” he said. “It’s been very encouraging around the nation to see things start to get to some sense of normalcy.
“Considering the virus, in certain situations, is still a major issue, vaccines have allowed us the opportunity to get out there and compete and feel like there is that sense of normalcy.”
Lake Taylor football coach Hank Sawyer and his team are thrilled about getting started.
“It’s nice to get back to normal,” Sawyer said. “The kids are excited, too.”
Sawyer said his players missed the routine of going to school and preparing for the season. During the spring, most of the players were still doing virtual workouts and in-person workouts were limited.
“They’re all excited about gathering again,” Sawyer said.
Among the big games that will need circling on your calendar:
- Defending Class 6 state champion Oscar Smith opens against Southeastern District rival Deep Creek at 7 p.m. on Aug. 27 at Deep Creek.
- Lake Taylor will open at home against Phoebus at 7 p.m. on Aug. 27.
- Lake Taylor will host Eastern District rival Maury at 7 p.m. on Sept. 24.
- Tabb will host Bay Rivers District rival Lafayette at 1 p.m. on Sept. 25.
- Oscar Smith will play rival Indian River at 7 p.m. on Oct. 1 at Oscar Smith.
- Ocean Lakes with face Beach District power Salem at 7 p.m. on Oct. 15 at Ocean Lakes.
- Phoebus will host Peninsula District rival Hampton at 7 p.m. on Oct. 15.
- Woodside will host Phoebus at 7 p.m. on Oct. 22 in what could be a battle for the Peninsula District title.
- Lafayette will host Warhill at 7 p.m. on Nov. 5 in a game that could decide the Bay Rivers District title.
Marty O’Brien contributed to this story.
Greg Giesen, 757-446-2309, firstname.lastname@example.org