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Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine says 30 days will decide if high school football happens

Governor Mike DeWine said that how Ohio fares in dealing with the coronavirus over the course of the next month will determine if high school football is played.

As football season fast approaches, many are wondering if -- or how -- high school football will be played in the fall.

According to Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, it's too early to tell on either front. But the state's trends over the course of the next month will be telling in determining the viability of "Friday Night Lights" in the fall.

"What we’re aiming to do here is to have fall where we have kids back in school, have fall and do fall sports -- have Friday night football," DeWine said at his press briefing on Thursday. "What we do in the next 30 days or so is frankly going to determine how that all works out."

DeWine's comments come amid growing concern about the viability of a fall sports season as coronavirus numbers -- both locally and nationally -- continue to rise. On Thursday, the Big Ten announced that it would be playing a conference-only fall sports schedule this year, while smaller schools such as Oberlin College and Case Western Reserve University have already canceled their fall sports slates.

DeWine isn't ready to take those measures yet and the state still intends to have K-12 students return to school this fall. But the threat to a fall sports season appears clear, with 12 counties in the state currently rating at a Level 3 risk level, the second-highest on Ohio's scale.

In an effort to ensure the state has fall sports, which can begin practicing as early as Aug. 1, Ohio has launched a new campaign called #IWantASeason. The hashtag is intended to be used by student-athletes, coaches and fans to encourage others to practice measures such as physical distancing and wearing a mask in order to help reverse the state's recent trends and improve the outlook for sports this fall.

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