Coaches, players prepare for a unique Georgia high school football season

Coaches, players prepare for a very unique Georgia high school football season

ATLANTA — The Georgia high school football season begins this week under historic circumstances and a lot of optimism that the full season will be completed.

The Georgia High School Association delayed the start of the season by two weeks because of the COVID-19 pandemic and some school districts, like Fulton County, are pushing their schedule back even more.

First year head coach Christopher Prewett never expected he’d juggle a playbook and a virus when he signed on to coach Roswell High School.

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“When we dream of being a head coach, the COVID years is not normally in the dream and not normally in the guidelines of things that you’re used to, so it’s been challenging, but it’s been a good learning experience and we hit the ground running,” Prewett said.

North Gwinnett head coach Bill Stewart agrees it’s been a learning experience. Stewart’s team plays McEachern High School in the Corky Kell Classic to kick off the season on Thursday.

“We have a lot of protocols in place to make sure our kids are safe and that’s kind of the biggest difference. It really does make you think about some things that you should have been doing in the past as far as cleanup,” Stewart said.

The year is shaping up to be quite different for players too.

Roswell High School’s Dillon Hollifield admits he likes virtual learning at home because it’s given him more time to get ready for football.

“To be honest, it helped me because I didn’t really have to come to school as much. I really got a chance to be able to work out as much as I wanted to and work on things, so to me it actually helped,” Hollifield said. Roswell High School opens up against Centennial on Sept. 18.

“It’s just crazy, the world we’re living in,” said Rabun County quarterback Gunner Stockton. Rabun County opens their season on Friday night against Greenwood.

This year’s Corky Kell Classic takes place in nine different venues starting Wednesday evening with Carver-Atlanta at Cherokee and Mays at West Forsyth.

Watch SportsZone Friday night starting at 11:20 on Channel 2 to get a full recap of week 1

Cherokee high schools to reopen this week after temporary shutdown over COVID-19 cases