Football game times remain in home-team coaches’ hands|[08/16/07]

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 16, 2007

CLINTON – A push to get a uniform starting time for high school football games hit roadblocks in some rural school districts, but the executive director of the state’s athletic governing body said a tweak in scheduling is on the horizon.

Mississippi High School Activities Association Executive Director Dr. Ennis Proctor said each school can continue to pick their own game times – for now.

&#8220Too many of the rural schools, like a Wayne County, said they could not get their crowds in place by 7 p.m.,” Proctor said during a media conference at the association’s Clinton headquarters. &#8220What we’re looking at next year is starting our season in September and have those games played at 7:30. And then in October, move the time up to 7 p.m. for the remainder of the season. That has a good possibility of happening next year.”

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All state playoff games begin at 7 and many districts, including the Jackson Public Schools, begin games at 7. Vicksburg High, Warren Central and St. Aloysius continue to use the traditional 7:30 starting time.

The Mississippi Private Schools Association, in which Porters Chapel Academy is a member, mandated in the spring that football games for all of its member schools will begin at 7.

As for play between MHSAA and MPSA schools, Proctor says the MHSAA is seeing some movement in its late fall sports.

&#8220We just approved a basketball game between Jackson Academy and Northwest Rankin,” Proctor said. &#8220We’ve also seen more inter-league games involving basketball, soccer, cross country and track.”

Proctor also addressed the matter of slow-pitch softball, which has seen a marked decrease in the number of schools fielding teams this fall. WC, VHS and St. Aloysius all field teams.

&#8220I think we’re in the last years of slow-pitch,” Proctor said. &#8220A number of our 5A schools dropped it this year and I’ve already heard from some more they plan to drop it next year. I think by the time we do our next re-classification, we could end it.”