Jon Clark

Madison Southern coach Jon Clark  (Mike Moore photo)

The Madison Southern Eagles ended the 2020 regular season in fine fashion by thumping rival Madison Central, 44-14. Southern quarterback Cole Carpenter hit on 60 percent of his passes (9 out of 15) for 188 yards and two scores.

JayShaun Ethridge rushed for a pair of scores and caught another, while Walt Smith ran for a score and was on the receiving end one of Carpenter’s touchdown tosses.

On defense, Rocky Whitehead force a fumble, recovered a fumble, while Jonah Farnstrom picked off a Central pass, and returned it 54 yards.

Defensively, the Eagles limited Central to 66 rushing yards on 30 carries.

Finale called off

The Berea Pirates were scheduled to play Jackson County, but that game was called off when the Generals ceased playing football in 2020 due to Covid-19. Coach Tony DeGregorio then scheduled regular season ending game versus Paris, but that game was cancelled at the 11th hour because of Covid-19.

“Paris had a positive case and had to quarantine the entire team on Thursday,” the coach said. “Our administration is saying that we will be able to travel to Kentucky County Day on Nov. 20 for our playoff game. We are taking it day by day, and monitoring the County COVID numbers.”

Playoffs delayed

High school football playoffs in Kentucky have been pushed back a few weeks as state health officials try to get a grip on the Covid-19 spikes.

The Kentucky High School Athletics Association (KHSAA) notified member schools last week of the delay. The first round of the playoffs will now take place the weekend of Nov. 19-21 with no additional planned changes in the playoff structure at this point in time.

In the meantime, schools and school systems should review site strategies, seating capacities, and all other facets of the likely contest(s) during this interim period and certainly remind students that what they do outside of practice and the game field can have a tremendous impact on themselves and those around them. It is highly advised that all levels of school administration be in on hosting decisions and use this interim time to play out various “what if” scenarios based on hopefully changing data.

“It goes without saying that we are in the midst of issues within our state and the current status of the pandemic. I have stated all along that decisions made by our office, at any point in time, would be done so in the best interest of student-athletes. While it may be a calculated strategic decision that in time, we feel was not the best path, we have to make decisions based on today’s information because tomorrow is so unknown,” said KHSAA Commissioner Julian Tackett, in a news release. “This decision isn’t just about the few ongoing quarantines, it’s about 82 counties Friday being defined as “red” including the vast majority of the east. It’s about giving our schools time to deal with the issues around athletics which are not identical to the issues around the school day and as such, may need separate local discussions.

“One of the deciding factors in this situation is determining what course of action to take given today’s information, that we feel gives our students the best chance to have a postseason experience. We have been calculated and strategic throughout this process and will continue to do so during these extremely challenging times, with the students’ health and ability to participate both being at the forefront of our minds.”

As a result of the postseason delay, the following guidelines will be in place for member schools:

The first round will begin with the weekend of Nov. 19, 20 and 21.

Teams may voluntarily withdraw from the playoffs without penalty using the FB144 form.

If a seeded team withdraws and other district teams remain in the alignment, those teams not qualifying from earlier from within that district will be given an opportunity to enter the bracket.

If there are withdrawals during the process, the bracket pod (district) will be re-seeded up to a point, after which the withdrawal will simply create a bye. We need to give schools at least a couple of days to sort out current situations. The status of the statistics around the virus will drive that “point” which will be announced early this coming week. Setting artificial deadlines and boundaries has not worked with this virus and the data around it to this point.

The review will be ongoing as it has been all along, and it is possible substantial changes could be made as needed in future days and weeks.

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