Virginia high school football's shortened season creating challenges for players, families

The upcoming high school football season in Virginia will look different than any we’ve seen before. It’s now scheduled to start later than usual and be more condensed too, which is creating new challenges for some players, especially seniors who hope to play at the next level.

“Me personally, I know a lot of us on the team, we need this season just recruiting-wise and recruiting-wise for colleges and stuff like that,” Zaire Davis said Tuesday afternoon. He’s an incoming senior wide receiver at Freedom High School in Woodbridge. “I love football and I’m trying to play at the next level. Without this season, that’s not guaranteed.”

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Here’s the issue: Davis doesn’t have an offer to play in college just yet; he’s hoping it’ll come after a strong senior season. But now, that season won’t start for months.

The Virginia High School League announced Monday that there won’t be any high school sports at all in the Commonwealth until at least December, and football isn’t scheduled to start until February. That means kids like Davis will have to wait longer than usual to hear from schools, if they hear from them at all.

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The situation is so uncertain, Freedom High School Football Coach Darryl Overton said he’s already heard from families who are considering sending their seniors to private schools or even public schools out of state because those football seasons might still start on time.

“I’ve had coaches tell us already that, you know, they’re gonna have their money already allocated out by the time we get around to a season, so for the guys that are seniors, it’s like you said – you gotta look into other options, whether it be letting them play private school, letting them go other places and play, whatever it may be,” Overton explained.

The coach said he’s meeting with the parents of his seniors this week to go over their options.

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