Haywood athletics set to resume with precautions in place

BROWNSVILLE, Tenn. — Haywood County Schools are ready to begin fall sports once again, with football set to kickoff Friday night against Henry County.

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COVID-19 spreading across the region has complicated some things.

“We had to do protocols to even return to sports, while all of our coaches had to submit a re-entry plan,” said Tim Seymour, the Athletic Director for Haywood County Schools.

The schools do have safety measures in place for all students — like temperature checks for everybody who enters the building, requiring masks and social distancing.

These will continue to apply when students return from games.

“Protocol never changes. We’re going to follow procedures like continuing to check the temperatures, continuing to ask the questions,” Seymour said.

Haywood High School released a guideline for athletic events, following the TSSAA recommendations. It includes certain changes, like no opposing team bands and limited fan capacity.

“Masks are required. Social distancing will be enforced. We’re going to make sure we do what we need to do to make sure we protect our student athletes,” Seymour said.

Transportation to away games also looks different this year, making changes to allow for social distancing.

“As for football, that might require us to take four buses, but we’re going to make sure to follow our protocol to make sure our kids are safe,” Seymour said.

COVID-19 has already affected their schedule.

“Last week we lost our Jackson teams. We were scheduled to play North Side next week, but because of a decision the district made to pause sports, we lost that game,” Seymour said.

Currently, they have nine teams on the schedule. They will closely monitor how the season plays out before making any changes.

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