With uncertainty on whether football and soccer will be able to play on this fall, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee has given the sports a word of support.
Per the LaFollette Press, Lee says that he thinks the two sports will be part of the equation this fall in the state.
"I think that it's pretty clear that football and soccer are going to be part of the landscape this fall," Lee said via the Press.
For preps, this would, at the moment, have to coincide with the lapsing of the governor's Executive Order 50, which limits regular contact sports like football and soccer through Aug. 29 in an effort to drive down Tennessee's active cases of COVID-19.
"Let’s pray that this is true," Christ Presbyterian Academy soccer coach Tom Gerlach said in a Tweet on the news.
"Just waiting for the official word from the governor’s office," Chattanooga Times Free Press sports editor Stephen Hargis shared on Twitter of the news. "TSSAA officials have said they are hopeful that comes this week — allowing football and girls’ soccer teams to go back to their original schedule for practice and their seasons."
The Tennessee Department of Health says the state stands at 61,960 overall cases as of Monday, suffering 741 fatalities. 3,250 people have been hospitalized with the disease, and 35,855 have recovered.
In Williamson County, 269 cases were reported over the weekend, bringing the total positive case count to 1,939, with 16 deaths.
The TSSAA deferred making a decision on the fall for football and girls soccer last Wednesday, saying that they wanted to continue dialogue with the governor's legal counsels on what direction to go in for the future.
Right now, the earliest football and girls soccer could start contact practice is Aug. 30. But, according to Hargis, the governor's office could change that as soon as this week.
The TSSAA presented four plans for a delayed football season earlier this month, as was a general delaying for girls soccer. Nothing has been approved thus far, with no set date as of now for a vote to be made by the TSSAA.
Anything is possible for the sports, including a potential exception from the executive order to let them start on time or a general cancellation or postponement of the seasons altogether.
Volleyball, golf and cross country are unaffected as of now, and the TSSAA says all three sports will keep on currently with their original calendars.