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Northeast quarterback Jaiden Puig throws a pass during a recent practice.

Clarksville-Montgomery County schools will need to wait a few extra weeks before beginning their contact sports seasons. The district announced Tuesday night that both football and girls soccer will have the starts of their seasons delayed until Aug. 31 despite Gov. Bill Lee’s latest decision to allow high school sports to begin as regularly scheduled in the state.

"Although the most recent TSSAA guidance on contact sports allowed for games to begin as scheduled, there are health and safety concerns with beginning the season before Aug. 31, including the limited duration and scope of student-athletes' conditioning thus far and playing against schools in communities experiencing medium and high spread of COVID-19," said CMCSS Chief Communication Officer Anthony Johnson. 

Soccer was originally scheduled to begin on Aug. 17 with football beginning shortly thereafter on Aug. 21. The first games scheduled for after the new starting point are now set for Aug. 31 and Sept. 4 for their respective sports. 

CMCSS schools were barred from beginning practice later than several counties in the area, waiting until after the dead period on July 6 to return to the field and were only recently allowed to begin contact and heat acclimation. The school board’s decision is an effort to ensure the teams and players are healthy and in peak shape for games against other schools that have been conditioning since the beginning of June.

With all football teams possessing an open date in Week 9 (Friday, Oct. 16), they will be permitted to reschedule lost contests and/or add new opponents. 

Some games prior to September, including Kenwood vs. Hopkinsville (KY), Kenwood vs Oakland, Northwest vs. Hunters Lane and Northeast vs. F.J. Reitz (IN) had already been called off. Now, notable games including Clarksville vs. Rossview, Clarksville vs. Springfield and Montgomery Central vs. West Creek will also need to be rescheduled. West Creek and Northwest were scheduled to be Greenbrier’s first two opponents, leaving the Bobcats with two open dates to start the season.

All soccer teams will be granted the opportunity to reschedule any games from before Aug. 31. 

The county’s decision will not affect postseason eligibility for its schools. 

The move follows decisions made by Metro Nashville and Shelby County schools, who delayed their season debuts through August.

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