Pioneers, other high school teams still waiting word from DeWine on fate of 2020 football campaign


Jonathan Alder wide receiver Jackson Izzard (5) picks up yardage during a 2019 playoff game. High school gridders are still waiting on word from Gov. Mike DeWine on whether the 2020 season will be played. (Journal-Tribune photo by Sam Dillon)

The jury is still out and no verdict has been rendered.
The case involves whether there will be high school football in Ohio this fall due to COVID-19.
Governor Mike DeWine did not address contact sports such as football and soccer during Tuesday’s press conference.
DeWine said last week he would talk about high school sports this week.
It is anticipated the governor will now address the issue on Thursday.
Non-contact sports such as tennis and golf have already started for the fall season.
Other non-contact endeavors such as volleyball and cross-country are scheduled to begin later this month.
Football and soccer remain in limbo at this time.
Earlier this month, the Ohio High School Athletic Association canceled all preseason scrimmages for those sports.
The Journal-Tribune talked with Jonathan Alder head football coach Brett Glass about the topsy-turvy world in which high school athletes are living.
“Not hearing a decision yet has been very difficult on our players and coaches,” said Glass. “The guys have enjoyed practicing and our coaches have enjoyed working with them.
“However, we just have to play a waiting game.”
Glass said JA players and coaches are holding up fairly well under the emotional strain.
“We’re having fun with practices right now, because at first we weren’t sure if we would even get this far,” he said. “However, there are still mornings when we come into practice where we can tell this is on the guys’ minds. I’m sure it’s bothering them.”
Glass said he feels badly for his entire team about the uncertainty of a season that is supposed to begin in a couple of weeks.
He especially understands what the seniors are going through.
“These are guys who as little kids in Plain City dreamed about playing Jonathan Alder football,” he said. “Our seniors have been able to play in the past, but your senior season is very special.
“These guys still aren’t sure they are going to have one.”
Glass has solid fourth-year leadership returning from a squad that finished as a Division III regional runner-up during the 2019 campaign.
They are quarterback J.T. Keith, wide receiver Jackson Izzard, place kicker Dylan Moore, offensive-defensive lineman Kyle Kidd, defensive end Denver Peterscheim and offensive lineman Alec Schrock.
“These are our seniors who have played the most the past few years,” said Glass.
There are a couple of states – Illinois and Colorado – that have opted to play high school football in the spring of 2021.
It was also announced on Tuesday the Big Ten will try to do the same.
That would not be Glass’ top choice for a football season.
Not only is he the man in charge of the Pioneer football program, but he is also an assistant JA baseball coach.
Craig Kyle, who is the football team’s offensive coordinator, is the head baseball coach at Alder.
Moving football to the spring would be very problematic for both of them, according to Glass.
“I would rather see the football season stay where it is or delay its start, instead of going to the spring,” he said.
“However, any option would be better than not playing football.”

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