The game plan is simple.

Implementation, though, not so much.

The state of high school athletics in Kentucky is contingent on everyone doing their part, whether they want to or not.




Wear a mask whether you like it or not.

“If all of us would put on a face covering now for the next 4-6 weeks, we could drive this epidemic to the ground.” CDC director Dr. Robert Redfield said Monday.

Kentucky governor Andy Beshear said in his Monday press conference that high school sports “probably” depends on people wearing masks.

Probably is not definite enough.

KHSAA Commissioner Julian Tackett said the same thing Friday.

“If our state wants high school sports, you’re gonna have to do the CDC recommendations on masking, on distancing, on hand-washing,” he said. “That’s it. You’re making a choice. Regardless of motivation, whether it’s political or otherwise, you’re openly saying, ‘I don’t want us to get back to normal as fast as we could,’ when you defy it.”

Not sure how much clearer it needs to be said.

Throw your politics in the receptacle and help a ton of high school athletes play fall sports.

This is about being a great teammate.

Do what you’ve been asked, even if you don’t like it, because it’s for the betterment of the team.

I don’t like these masks at all, but mine is in the car at the ready when I enter an establishment.

If you’re the No. 3 hitter and coach just gave you the sacrifice bunt sign, lay one down.

Move the runner over.

Don’t whine about doing what you’re asked.

To anyone who refuses to wear a mask:

If you’re an employer, don’t you expect your employees to carry out a request if you ask them to do something?

If you’re an employee, what happens if you are tasked to do something but you refuse to do it?

If you’re a parent and ask a child in the house to do something, or demand it — don’t you expect it to be done?

Right now, student-athletes in Pike County are counting on Kentuckians in Trimble County; Daviess County student-athletes are looking for help from those in Bracken County; while Hardin County student-athletes seek help from Wayne County; and those in Marshall County are depending on people in Mercer County.

That’s the only way this is going to work.

It’s one sanitized hand social distancing from another sanitized hand that helps out a couple other sanitized hands.

It’s the coach putting you in the game for the final 55 seconds of the first half, expecting you to give all you got for those 55 seconds.

It’s the track coach who just asked the sixth-best 400 runner to help out with the 4x800 relay and that 400 runner giving every ounce it has.

Honestly, no one cares why you are not wearing a mask.

Most won’t say anything because we don’t:

A) Want a fight

B) Want your excuse

I can’t tell what political side you are on, nor do I care one bit.

Just put the damn mask on.

You know how you ask your kids to do something and don’t want to hear any talk about it.


Wear a mask.

George Carlin once said, “Some see the glass as half full. Some see the glass as half empty. I see the glass as too big.”

That’s us in a nutshell.

You have the optimists, the pessimists and the Chicken Littles.

Just grab a glass, pour as much or as little as you wish, pull down your mask and drink.

Four months later and hindsight being (Year) 2020, many of us believe baseball, softball, tennis and track and field could have competed.

Do we really want to cancel everything again and in a few months look at the fall sports seniors and say, “Um, yeah, oops, sorry.”

Tackett said they want sports.

“We’re playing this fall. We’re gonna participate in athletics and activities this fall,” he said Friday. “We don’t know what it’s gonna look like, but we’re going to.”

Not really sure who doesn’t want sports.

Coaches do.

Players do.

Parents do.

Administrators do.

And, believe it or not, referees do.

Yes, there are still questions to be answered, but let’s move forward, figure life out and get things going again.

Kentucky’s COVID-19 numbers released Monday show 629 deaths in 19,653 cases (3.2 percent), BUT 409 of those deaths were nursing-home related. That’s 65 percent of the total.

Let’s move football back two weeks to a Sept. 4 start and get things going.

Eliminate the first round of the playoffs and the six state championships can be played one week later than scheduled.

Let soccer start Aug. 15 and move forward.

Volleyball, quite honestly, does not need to be pushed back. Start Aug. 17 and let’s go.

Cross country can start on time and golf begins in 17 days.

I promise you that football coaches are good with the two-week delay. They just want to coach and their kids play.

Everybody, though, wants answers and, depending on whom you listen to, some answers people don’t want to hear.

Decisions made on the professional and collegiate level and, in most cases, in states throughout the nation, have zero impact on high school football in Kentucky.

Yes, Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, Illinois, Tennessee and Virginia decisions will impact football in Kentucky based upon scheduled opponents, but what happened in New Mexico has no bearing on this state.

Southeastern Conference Commissioner Greg Sankey said Monday on the Paul Finebaum Show, “There has to be more intent on heeding the guidance provided.”

Please do not downplay the importance of sports. It’s what gets many kids out of bed each day.

I was that kid.

Coaches and administrators want the best for your child, whether you believe it or not.

They want kids safe.

They also want to play.

The kids want to play.

Do your job.

Be a team player.

Lay down the bunt.

Mike Mathison can be reached at 270-505-1758 or

(1) comment


Mike - you hit it out of the park! Everyone throughout the state needs to do their part to control the virus. Nobody "wants" to wear a mask but we all have to wear one of we are going to slow the spread of this deadly virus. And you are correct, as a soccer referee and assigner, I can tell you that all officials in all sports miss the game. I have joked with a couple of coaches that are friends of mine that I even miss them yelling at me. Again, you hit the last second goal to with the championship with this article. Thanks and see you at the games this fall (I hope!).

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.
Terms of Use. The complete terms of use policy can be found at the bottom of this page.