High school athletics community feels shocked over one lawmaker’s request to suspend fall sports

WWL Newsroom
July 08, 2020 - 10:23 am
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Chairman of the Senate Committee on Education Baton Rouge Senator Cleo Fields has asked BESE to suspend fall sports for K-12 schools because of COVID-19.  Catholic High football coach Gabe Fertitta says the request caught him and many others by surprise, adding that it feels like a knee-jerk reaction.

Related: LA Senator asks BESE to suspend all school athletics

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“Before I got upset about it, I tried to make sure and figure out what is really going on.  The more I’ve read about it, the more it seems like that organization doesn’t even have the authority to do that,” said Fertitta.

Fields made the request in a letter to BESE on Monday that would include all athletic activities with student in-person participation in a group setting such as conditioning, practice, and team meetings.

Fertitta’s football program has only seen three players test positive for COVID-19 and he feels that the proper precautions have been taken without a massive outbreak.  Fertitta says the LHSAA has yet to issue guidance but does not blame them since the whole situation feels like a big waiting game.

“The LHSAA could say that we’re starting on time and then the Governor says that we are still in Phase Two and what are you going to do?  We can’t play football in Phase Two,” said Fertitta.

Fertitta says he doesn’t have the answer at this point but continues to stress the importance of embracing each day to his players.

“We got to lift and run and do some football today and at the end of the day, that was fun today, and we’ll see what happens tomorrow,” said Fertitta.

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