E.A. Sports Today

Scheduling shakeup

Randolph County teams shake up early season football schedules due to COVID-19 issues

By Jeremy Wortham
For East Alabama Sports Today

High school football teams in Randolph County are getting a minor shake up in their early-season scheduling due to COVID-19 issues elsewhere.

The Randolph County Tigers were scheduled to host 1A Notasulga in a fall jamboree before opening the regular season against cross county rival 4A Handley, but now those plans have changed.

“Notasulga’s superintendent is not letting their school system play during August,” Randolph County coach Pat Prestridge said.

The late decision left the Tigers without a jamboree game before the season kicked off.

The Woodland Bobcats had a similar dilemma after Georgia announced the delayed start to its high school football season. The result left the Bobcats with an opening in Week 1, which had been filled by Wilkinson County (Ga.). 

Handley had 2A LaFayette drop out of the fall jamboree due to COVID-19 concerns and had its Week 3 game again Lamar County canceled.

“We don’t know what to plan for because we don’t know what’s going to happen or take place,” said Handley coach Larry Strain. “We are sitting here in preseason and I can’t tell you who our first ball game is going to be with.”

“We are trying to work with Handley and some more teams on scheduling in Week 0 and 1,” Prestridge said. “We could wind up moving Handley around. It’s not in stone, but it is in stone I guess you could say.”

The unannounced plan is to move Handley from a regular season Week 1 opener to a Week 0 fall jamboree game and add Woodland to Week 1 as an official season opener for the Tigers from Wedowee.

Randolph County has played Woodland virtually every year dating back to the 1920’s, but didn’t schedule a contest during the recent region realignment scheduling. They had played every year since 2002 (and twice in 2012).

“It’s just a fluid situation,” said Strain. “We are just going to take it day by day and see what’s going to happen and try to prepare and be ready.”

Jeremy Wortham is a contributor for East Alabama Sports Today. Look for his reports from in and around Randolph County throughout the season.

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