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Aug, 2020

Fall Football

Gates Family,

Over the past several months, I’ve been monitoring the Virginia High School League (VHSL) website and speaking with members of their governing board. I was gathering information about our future Gates football season for 2020. When VHSL ruled in June to suspend all fall sports, to include football, I was heartbroken. Never in a million years did I ever thing something like a COVID pandemic could shut down an entire country. Everyone that knows me and hears me coach knows how passionate I am about football. With that being said, I have determined after considerable deliberation with other board member that Gates will not participate in any fall football. I have followed other states' football programs in NC, SC, GA, and FL to see how their football programs were dealing with COVID. Most, if not all have since suspended their football programs due to outbreaks. Our own governing body for Virginia, the Virginia High School League said no fall sports. I know this is not something you want to hear, but the facts and reports don’t lie. Kids are still catching this deadly virus and unfortunately still dying. If I have to get you to sign a liability waiver, about COVID I will not put your child on the field.  The risk  outweighs the reward. If you feel that it’s safe to participate in some sort of fall football program, I wish you good luck, but Gates will not support or make a recommendation on when or where you should participate.

Thank you,
Mark Bowen
Gates Football Director

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Gates Athletic Association

P.O. Box 394 
Chesterfield, Virginia 23832

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