8.20 khsaa

Most students across the state won't return to in-person learning until at least Sept. 28.

Student-athletes, however, will likely be back on campus next week.

The Kentucky High School Athletic Association Board of Control overwhelmingly re-approved a plan on Thursday that would allow practices to get under way on Aug. 24 and the start of competition to begin on the week of Sept. 7.

This decision was approved 16-2.

"We are going forward, period," KHSAA Commissioner Julian Tackett said.

This plan - with this timeline - was approved during the organization's meeting last month. The board of control was given two other options to consider on Thursday, but both were voted down by wide margins.

One option would have pushed the start of all fall sports until Sept. 28 (the date schools are scheduled to re-open). It was defeated 15-3.

Another option would have pushed back the start of volleyball, soccer and football until Sept. 28., while allowing cross country and field hockey to start on Sept. 7. It was defeated 13-5.

Despite the concerns about COVID-19, the board clearly wanted to get fall sports under way as soon as possible, especially after losing the entire spring sports season.

"We don't want to start then have to stop," Tackett said.

The KHSAA plan still has to be approved by Governor Andy Beshear and the Kentucky Department of Education.

The board did considered voting on a "back-up plan" if the state officials were to force them to make a change. The motion was shut down quickly.

"To muddy the waters at this point, is not the time," one board member said.

The reaction from coaches and players on social media about the decision to move forward on the current timeline was joyous.

"Thank the good lord above," Madison Central football player Sam Arthur said on Twitter. "WAY TOO MUCH unfinished business!!"

"That is good news for our fall sport athletes! #LetThemPlay," tweeted Central baseball assistant coach Alex Waters.

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