**Story has been updated with quotes from Corning-Painted Post head football coach George Bacalles**


Most area coaches understand the decision from the New York State Public High School Athletic Association that came down Wednesday afternoon about moving football, volleyball and cheerleading to March 1.


The original plan was for these high-risk sports to begin practice September 21, but they wouldn’t be able to actually play in games, just practice.


Matt Ford, Second-year varsity head football coach for Haverling High School, had trepidation about practicing in September.


"My biggest fear was we would start September 21 and we would go a few weeks and then we would have a positive case and we would have to shut it down for 14 days and they would do away with the season," said Ford.


Horseheads head football coach Kevin Hillman agreed saying he wasn’t a fan of the Sept. 21 practice date that held no firm opportunity for games. Even with the chance for some wintry weather in March and April, he said the adjusted plan makes more sense.


"I just didn’t like the idea of doing that and all the sudden we get shut down and we don’t have an opportunity to play," he said. ‘If this gives us the best chance, we know we can play, and it gives the schools and stadiums a little more time to figure things out – maybe a vaccine or something – maybe we can even get back to the point now where fans can be there."


Corning-Painted Post head varsity football coach George Bacalles is happy his kids - especially his seniors - have a date in stone as of right now while admitting the Sept. 21 start date came with skepticism.


"I’m happy for the kids, and the program that now we have a date to prepare for," said Bacalles. "There’s a lot of optimism with having the season later on. I personally thought we weren’t going to make it through the fall season."


With all of the uncertainty that has taken place this spring, Ford thinks coaches and section coordinators in Section V will be better prepared.


"I’m holding onto hope we have spring season and going into the season knowing we have a game schedule is better for us mentally as coaches and for players.


The starting of some "fall" sports on March 1 also gives kids an opportunity to play some sports like soccer or cross country that are scheduled to take place on September 21.


"This also gives athletes the opportunity to try different sports that they otherwise wouldn’t have had a chance to try because there will be 4 seasons instead of 3," Stacey Brzezinski, Haverling varsity volleyball coach said. "Bottom line, I just want to see as many athletes involved as possible."


The decision gives athletes in football, volleyball and cheerleading a chance to compete in the sport that they have played their entire lives after speculation that that wouldn’t be the case just days ago.


"I was concerned with having volleyball practice starting on September 21st with no opportunity to have any games," said Brzezinski. "I know a few of my athletes accepted this, mainly because they just wanted the chance to play the sport again. However, with all the safety protocols we have at this time, it just makes sense postponing our season to the spring."


Whenever the Hawks do start playing football, Corning head coach George Bacalles is certain his team will be ready to play no matter the pre-spring conditions.


"I think we need to have a mailman mentality," said Bacalles. "No rain, snow or sleet will stop us from being able to play at our best. We have a blue collar mentality, We’re going to know a beginning and end. We’ll be seizing every moment we can."


Low-and moderate-risk fall sports practices are scheduled to begin Sept. 21. Those sports include girls tennis, cross country, girls swimming/diving, boys soccer, girls soccer, field hockey.


Andrew Legare of the Star-Gazette contributed to this article.