Muscle Shoals City Schools are suspending all athletic events until Sept. 1 due to COVID-19, superintendent Chad Holden said.

Holden informed the AHSAA of the decision in a letter Wednesday morning. 

Holden told the TimesDaily that he's spoken with local health officials and feels like delaying sports for a short time could be beneficial given the recent "surge" of cases.

"Hopefully by allowing the governor's mask ordinance to have an effect, we'll see a leveling off" of cases, Holden said.

Holden said Muscle Shoals teams will continue to practice as they have been doing since June. Athletes and coaches will continue wearing masks, sanitizing equipment and keeping social distance as much as possible, Holden said.

"We're not saying sports are canceled for the fall," Holden said. "We're just hoping things better."

Holden, who tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this month, announced Tuesday the start of the school semester was being pushed back Aug. 20. He said it makes sense to take a similarly cautious approach regarding the start of sports.

Muscle Shoals' football team was set to play Deshler on Aug. 20. Deshler announced Wednesday the Tigers and Trojans will now play Sept. 25.

Muscle Shoals also had a game against Florence set for Aug. 28.

If a game can't be rescheduled, Muscle Shoals would have to forfeit.

Muscle Shoals is set to open region play Sept. 4 at home against Decatur.

Muscle Shoals closed athletic practices June 24 after a football player tested positive for COVID-19 and reopened them less than a week later.

Holden said workouts have not been canceled again since then, but some athletes have missed practices after being around other people who tested positive for COVID-19.

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