LIBERTY COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - The Liberty County School System is suspending all athletics and extracurricular activities.
Liberty County School System Superintendent Dr. Franklin Perry said he felt there’s just too much risk to not suspend all athletic and extracurricular activities.
The school system is beginning the year completely virtual, now sports and other activities have been put on hold.
The system says the cancellation is based on the current COVID-19 situation in surrounding areas and the state of Georgia.
Dr. Perry said it’s not a cancellation of the entire season. He says if the situation were to improve, he would be willing to allow teams to restart play. But for now, he says this is the responsible decision.
“It’s just too much of a risk. Do we want to risk our athletes, our coaches to do this? And after a lot of studying this whole thing, we said no,” Dr. Perry said.
According to the Department of Public Health’s latest update, Liberty County has 575 positive cases and two deaths.
“All of the things the CDC and the Department of Health is telling us to do to minimize the spread, we can’t do. In our locker rooms, there’s no way to keep 75 to 80 from being close to each other. They can’t wear masks.”
Liberty County head football coach Kirk Warner informed his team of the system’s decision Friday, the team’s last practice happened Thursday afternoon.
While he's disappointed, Warner says he fully supports the decision.
“This thing is serious, and bottom line is their health is the most important thing to us, and football is a game,” said Warner.
With the possibility of a return to action, Warner says he’s hopeful his team gets a chance to play at least part of the season if safe. He says the Panthers would have the opportunity if the call is made by the end of August.
Voluntary workouts for athletics in Georgia began in June and some fall sports seasons are set to begin next week.
Football practice began Monday and the season is set to begin Sept. 4. But for now, Liberty County Schools won’t be a part of it.