Public schools in Broward and Palm Beach will not play for state titles this fall


South Florida Sun Sentinel | Adam Lichtenstein | September 21, 2020

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, a majority of Broward and Palm Beach county sports teams will not compete for state titles this season.

Both counties’ athletic departments have opted out of the Florida High School Athletic Association state series, according to Palm Beach County School District spokeswoman Julie Houston Trieste and Broward County Athletic Association Director of Athletics and Student Activities Shawn Cerra.

The deadline to opt in or out was Friday. Palm Beach County’s decision was first reported by the Palm Beach Post.

Both counties are opting out of fall sports only.

“We have every intention of participating in the Winter and Spring, especially if the positivity percentage trends remain the same,” Cerra said.

The decision applies to all of Broward and Palm Beach’s public schools. Several private schools are opting in to the state series, including American Heritage, Cardinal Gibbons, Chaminade-Madonna and St. Thomas Aquinas. Chaminade and St. Thomas are reigning state football champions in Class 3A and Class 7A, respectively.

Both counties began outdoor fall conditioning Monday, nearly a month after the FHSAA allowed fall practices to begin. Football practices are scheduled to begin on Oct. 12 in both counties, and football games would start the last week of October — one week before the FHSAA state playoffs are scheduled to begin.

According to Palm Beach County’s publicized athletics plan, the football season may conclude with bowl games between teams from Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties.

Photo: Western quarterback Collin Hurst pitches the ball during their game against St. Thomas Aquinas on Nov. 1, 2019. Western and other Broward County public school teams will not participate in the FHSAA state series this year. (Michael Laughlin/South Florida Sun Sentinel)