LHSAA announces full contact football practice can begin Thursday

High school Football practice allowed to begin again on Thursday

NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) -The Louisiana High School Athletic Association says it’s confident high school football teams can start the season safely amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. The LHSAA announced Wednesday full contact practices can start in the state Thursday. And, the season will start as early as October 1.

“A lot of moving parts here but the schools want this to happen. I heard them loud and clear. The parents want it to happen and guess what we are making it happen,” said LHSAA Executive Director Eddie Bonine.

But, the City of New Orleans says it has to evaluate a number of factors before any decision regarding games will be made.

We spoke with the head football coach of Holy Cross High School who says his team isn’t waiting.

Saltaformaggio says they remain consistent with Covid-19 protocols, working in groups of 25 or less, coaches staying 6 feet away, and wearing masks when closer. He says they also haven’t been hitting at practice. But, they plan to soon even if Orleans Parish continues more restrictive guidelines than the rest of the state.

“If we can’t hit, we will get on the bus and go practice somewhere where we can and we will go get on a bus and go play somewhere where we can. I told the kids the other day, I watched Navy and BYU on TV, BYU had been hitting all year and Navy hadn’t hit at all and Navy got drummed into the earth and I don’t want that to be Holy Cross,” said Coach Nick Saltaformaggio.

In a statement Wednesday night, a City Hall spokesperson said:

"We look forward to reviewing the safety protocols recommended by the LHSAA for schools and partner organizations, as our children’s education and their activities continue to be our top priority.

“Data from last weekend’s Labor Day crowds, the influx of thousands of evacuees, and the return of students to in-person learning must be evaluated prior to any decision regarding games and potential spectators for October. We will continue to monitor those impacts in the next four weeks.”

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