When it comes to finding inspiration and optimism during the coronavirus pandemic, sports hasn’t been the place to look.

Games canceled. Seasons ended. Playoffs eliminated.

It’s unfortunate because sports are the great escape from the real world of life, but with it impossible to gather to watch, or gather to play, without the risk of passing the potentially disastrous COVID-19 virus on to scores of other people.

Spring football practice was set to start April 27 but schools are closed through at least May 1.

At St. Cloud High School, they’ve chosen to be optimists about life returning to normal, school opening on time at least for the 2020-21 school year come August … and playing a full and regular football season.

St. Cloud Bulldog Athletics posted its 2020 JV and varsity football schedules on Monday, starting with the Kickoff Classic at home on Aug. 14 at 7:30 p.m. Optimistic, feasible, or not, it is something to look forward to with hope that life soon gets back to normal.

The schedule is the same as 2019, with home and away games reversed with three exceptions: the Week 1 and 2 games against Orangewood Christian and at Arcadia DeSoto County are replacements for games against Palm Bay Bayside and Golden. Colo. And the regular-season finale — Coach Bryan Smart and the Bulldogs hope it’s a tune-up game for the playoffs — is at Victory Christian again, as the game is played at Southeastern University’s posh stadium and the Christian school is paying St. Cloud’s bus travel expense.

Fall football practice is scheduled to begin July 27. It’s time to be optimistic.