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VHSL planning regular schedule for 2021-22

By DAVID GRAVELY

editor@southwesttimes.com

 

In a release to the media Thursday, Virginia High School League Executive Director Billy Haun made it clear that the league plans to return to its normal schedule for the upcoming 2021-22 school year.

 

“We are planning on moving ahead with a regular schedule, regular seasons, the regular number of contests that we’ve always done,” Haun said in the release. “Unless someone in the governor’s office (or Virginia Department of Health) tells us that we can’t go there, that is what our plan is.”

 

The league rearranged and condensed the normal schedule this year due to concerns over COVID-19. Play was delayed until December and started with winter sports, followed by fall sports, including football.  Spring sports are scheduled to begin soon.

 

Teams are playing 60% of their normal regular-season games, with a condensed regional playoffs and two rounds of state playoffs.

 

Region playoffs in football have only four qualifiers, where they normally include eight teams. State quarterfinal rounds in all sports have been eliminated, leaving only the top four teams in each classification to battle for a spot in the state title game.

 

For football this season, that has meant a schedule made up of only six regular season games. Pulaski County, as a part of the River Ridge District, scheduled Cave Spring, Hidden Valley, Christiansburg, Blacksburg, Patrick Henry and Salem. This will allow for all RRD teams to play during the regular season.

 

While the varsity schedule may seem to have been an easy fix, initially it wasn’t due to Roanoke County voting to not allow teams to play outside of Roanoke County. The Roanoke County School Board later reversed that decision.

 

Junior varsity teams have had some issues with scheduling, as some schools have decided to not field a JV team this season due to low numbers. Middle schools have also dealt with scheduling issues as some schools haven’t fielded teams at that level.

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