D190928 East Lawrence vs Hatton

Hatton head coach Denton Bowling talks to one ofhis assistants during the game at East Lawrence High School on Friday. [JERONIMO NISA/DECATUR DAILY]

As of right now high school football is scheduled to make a return on July 27. 

That's the date the AHSAA set a few months ago that fall practice could begin. 

But before then, there will be an important meeting. 

On July 22 the AHSAA will meet to discuss the plan for fall sports. While the death rate has gone down,  the number of cases of Covid in Alabama has gone up. This of course is an effect of the state coming out of quarantine. Still, with case numbers going up, it brings the question of whether fall sports will start on time this year. 

Schools are planning to reopen on schedule for the 2020-21 school year and most likely sports will happen. But there may be changes to the schedule, which is why the AHSAA will be meeting to come up with a plan. 

One of the more interesting plans that will be discussed will be swapping fall sports and spring sports. 

This would mean that football and volleyball would take place in the spring and softball and baseball would take place this fall. 

"I like the idea," said Hatton coach Denton Bowling. "I think the social distancing aspect would work better for spring sports." 

Bowling serves not only as the head football coach of Hatton High School, but also the head softball coach, giving him a perfect insight into what the change could do. 

"I'm a proponent of it. Baseball and softball is already being played all across the state of Alabama this summer and we haven't had any issues with it." 

Of Couse, should that plan be enacted, it wouldn't be without it's cons. Bowling in particularly is weary of certain aspects that switching the sports would bring. 

"My fear is that there would be an easy cancellation of the baseball/softball season if problems arose," Bowling said. "We already lost one season this past spring. Losing another so quickly would be a tough blow." 

Of course you have to be cautious about whether or not switching seasons could be be consequential to the athletes but Bowling says he doesn't think it would be a big problem. 

"Here at Hatton most our athletes are multi sports athletes so It wouldn't be a big deal here. Maybe at bigger school might face problems," he said. "But at the end of the day I don't think the athlete would be hurt by it." 

There's also the question about whether or not baseball/softball players would be more ready to play, given that they have been participating in a lot of travel ball this summer.

"That's a great question. I think the biggest worry is about your arms and whether or not they're ready. But to be honest most of the kids that are serious about baseball/softball have already been throwing and playing this summer," Bowling said. "I think adjustments would have to be made, but I see no reason the players wouldn't be ready to go. I think it would be easier transition than some would like to admit." 

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