By Rich Palzewic
BROWN COUNTY – I’ve heard some possible scenarios of what a high school football season could look like this fall.
With a potential start date during the week of Sept. 7, teams can schedule their first game as early as Wednesday, Sept. 23.
Because the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) said the ending date of the season won’t be moved, Nov. 19-20 will be the last week of the season.
Teams will have the possibility of playing nine games.
How those nine games look is yet to be determined.
At its July 23 meeting, the WIAA Board of Control said a fall tournament series is not a given, but a recent report said the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association (WFCA) is proposing a seven-week regular season followed by a two-week playoff series.
The WFCA’s proposal is expected to be voted on at the WIAA’s next meeting Aug. 14.
Currently, 32 teams qualify for the playoffs in seven divisions, equaling 224 teams.
Reducing the playoffs to a pair of rounds would leave the vast majority of teams out.
Maybe the WIAA would consider expanding the number of divisions for one year or let all teams qualify.
Wisconsin could take Iowa’s lead on this matter, but our state’s season will be about a month shorter.
The Iowa High School Athletic Association recently announced every football team in the state will qualify for the postseason this year.
The regular-season will consist of seven weeks, followed by a six-week tournament series for each classification.
I saw some banter on Twitter saying kids and coaches want the chance to compete for a state title, but I think under the circumstances, that has to be the last thing looked at.
Teams should feel lucky to be discussing a return to sports.
I wouldn’t be disappointed if a playoff series is scrapped for one year – let teams schedule nine games and be done with it.
For example, in the Fox River Classic Conference (FRCC), it would be easy to do.
Teams could play the other six teams in their division and then look to the other side of the conference for their remaining three games.
Ashwaubenon, Bay Port, De Pere, Green Bay Preble, Green Bay Southwest, Pulaski and West De Pere would each play one another, while Green Bay East, Green Bay West, Manitowoc Lincoln, Menasha, Notre Dame Academy, Sheboygan North and Sheboygan South would do the same on their side.
After playing its six FRCC games, it would be easy for a team like De Pere to crossover and play Menasha, Notre Dame and Green Bay East (or any other three teams) for nine games total.
It might be more difficult for Manitowoc, North and South to schedule their games because they are further away from the Green Bay area.
This could all change depending on developments with COVID-19.
On Aug. 3, the Green Bay Area Public School District Board of Education voted to begin the school year online, so I’m not sure what this means for East, Preble, Southwest or West and its fall seasons.
It’s probably a wait-and-see approach for now.
Although the WIAA allows for schools to take part in sports if they are learning virtually, it would most likely be more difficult to pull off.