The view from the press box

With the Subway All-Star basketball games once again on hold, it’s perhaps a telling sign of things to come for the fall sports season.

Because Escambia County School District is following the advice of medical personnel during the COVID-19 pandemic, the event scheduled for July 24 at Tate is off the calendar.

Event officials are working to reschedule at a different venue. But with August around the corner, time is running out. The game, featuring senior athletes from Escambia, Santa Rosa and Okaloosa Counties, was originally set to be played in March.

The fact that the county won’t allow a game to be played is worth noting moving forward as we inch closer to the start of a new school year.

Though guidelines have yet to be laid out on what a fall season will look like, the postponement of the all-star basketball games doesn’t bode well for a potential season. At least not one that starts on time.

The Florida High School Athletic Association has yet to change its current calendar. It’s still eyeing July 27 as the official first day of fall practice. But there appears to be momentum gaining that it will be delayed.

Several NCAA Division II and Division III conferences have either shortened their schedules or canceled the fall season entirely. The Ivy League is the first Division I school to cancel its season. The Big Ten and ACC will only play conference games this season. Other leagues are expected to follow.

It seems only logical that the high school season is going to be delayed in some way, especially when a fellow football state like Texas is even considering no season at all. New Jersey won’t start football until October. New Mexico has already moved its football season to the spring.

Meanwhile in Florida, a lot of questions still have to be answered. A lot of doubts remain. But decisions are going to have to be made sooner rather than later.

Honor Roll

Brady Hammel

Former Navarre kicker Brady Hammel has earned a spot on the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference All-Academic team. Hammel sported the highest GPA in his class at 3.92. It’s the fifth-best GPA among the more than 1,300 student-athletes on the list.

Hammel graduated this past spring after wrapping up his two-year career at Miles College. This past season, the Raider alum helped guide the Golden Bears to the NCAA Division II playoffs, knocking in three field goals, including one from 44 yards out. He also handled extra-point and kickoff duties.

Youth Sports Info

The NYSA is planning to host a one-day football camp July 17. A skills camp for children ages 5-14 is set for 8:30 a.m. until 11 a.m. at the NYSA football field. The padded camp for players in the 11U-14U divisions will take place from 4:30 p.m. until 7 p.m. The cost for each camp is $40. For those interested in attending both, the cost is $70. Direct all questions to football@nysasports.com.

A 12U baseball team in the Navarre area is currently accepting evaluations for the remainder of the summer. The LandSharks are looking for one to two players that preferably have pitching experience. Check out the team’s Facebook Page for more info or call Jason at 850-8653750.

In other youth sports news, the Emerald Coast Sports Association is planning a two-day skills camp July 17-18 in Milton. It will be led by former Crimson Tide and NFL player Le’Ron McClain. Registration info can be found here.

In the News

Be sure to pick up a copy of this week’s Navarre Press for more on the cancelation of the 2020 Minor League Baseball Season. My column takes a look at an example set by Navarre grad Hailey Neely at an AAU track meet earlier this summer. Interested in subscribing? Click the link here.

On this Day in Sports History

Arthur Ashe is born on July 10, 1943. He goes on to become the first African-American inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Ashe won 33 titles in his career.

On this day in 1999, the United States defeats China 5-4 in the World Cup. Brandi Chastain knocked in the winning penalty kick. And on this day in 2016, Andy Murray beats Milos Raonic to win his second Wimbledon title and third Grand Slam crown.

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