Admiral Farragut Academy became the first high school football program in the Tampa Bay area to suspend the upcoming season due to COVID-19 concerns.
The board of directors voted to suspend football operations this week, said Matt Olesnevich, assistant principal of the school. Blue Jackets coach Rick Kravitz informed the players of the decision Wednesday morning.
“The safety of our students is our top priority,” Olesnevich said. “There was too much uncertainty with everything for us to feel that it was safe.”
While most private school programs in the area started summer conditioning earlier this month, Admiral Farragut held off on any workouts because of coronavirus concerns. The military academy also is a boarding school. Roughly half of the students at the high school level live on campus, including many from other countries.
Kravitz will remain on staff with the athletic department. The school will reassess the program during the upcoming school year to determine when it will be safe to resume football.
The Blue Jackets have been among the area’s top programs at the small school level. Two years ago, they advanced to the state semifinals. Last year, they reached the region final.
The decision likely will result in some players transferring to other schools to continue playing football this season.
“The players are more than welcome to stay, but we do expect some will leave,” Olesnevich said.