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Florida to begin high school football season in one week

After a marathon 5-hour board meeting on Monday night, the Florida High School Athletic Association determined the high school football season in the Sunshine State will begin as scheduled. Practices will begin one week from today, on July 27.

The decision is a major domino on the high school circuit, coming on the same day California pushed its season back to the spring while Georgia delayed its season by two weeks.

While each state's decision is a fraught one, Florida is in a league of its own.

The FHSAA's decision came on the same day Florida's largest teachers union sued governor Ron DeSantis and Florida's top education official over the state's mandate that all school districts "must open brick and mortar schools at least five days a week for all students."

DeSantis has been a proponent of opening schools, saying earlier this month: “We spent months saying that there were certain things that were essential, and that included fast food restaurants, it included Walmart, it included Home Depot. But if all that is essential, than educating our kids is absolutely essential. ... If you can do these things, we absolutely can do the schools.”

In the meantime, Florida has emerged as one of the biggest coronavirus hotspots in the entire world. The state has surpassed 10,000 cases for the past six days in a row -- numbers that exceed the entire European Union.

On the flip side, some schools signaled their intent to withdraw from the FHSAA in the event the season was canceled or significantly altered.

Monday night's meeting saw the FHSAA's Covid-19 task force recommend postponing the start of training camp by two weeks to Aug. 10, but that plan was unanimously voted down, according to Bulls247.

Instead, the board approved a plan, by 10-5 vote, to begin training camp as scheduled next Monday. The plan also established a date for individual schools and school districts to announce their intent to play or not to play, which gives others ample time to reschedule games in the event opponents drop off their schedule.