Monday was a big day for high school athletics as Class 1-4A volleyball and football teams were able to begin practice again.
The preseason has been a whirlwind. While there is still a lot of uncertainty, Central Texas teams are sticking to the UIL guidelines and taking it one day at a time.
The UIL released their timeline for fall sports on July 17. Four days later, McLennan County issued an order shutting down practices, however it was later overturned. As of now, the UIL timeline still stands, and Class 1A-4A teams suited up for the first day of official practice.
“They were excited. We tried to dial it back and explain to them that we had one month to get ready for our first football game, so we are just trying to take it one day at a time,” said Connally Athletic Director and Head Football Coach Shane Anderson.
”I was really nervous that we wouldn’t be able to start on like regular timing, and I am just glad that we can actually start practicing now,” said Kinley Schnizer, a Robinson Volleyball middle blocker.
Due to the uncertainty of even having a season, many teams are already behind in preparing for the fall season. With spring practices and preseason conditioning cut short, teams now just have one month or less to prepare for their first game.
”With not having a spring, and then the traditional summer with 7 on 7 and some of those things, we are a little bit behind on that, but we got plenty of time to get it right,” said Coach Shane Anderson.
“Taking nothing for granted and just pushing everyone in every rep we get. We’re just taking it day by day and getting more thankful that we are even getting a season,” said Robinson Head Volleyball Coach Kelsey Cleere.
COVID-19 has impacted every team. Practices look different, and scheduling games has created a whole new challenge.
“Everyone had there schedules set for awhile now... I would say I have probably changed it about five or six times now,” said Coach Cleere.
”In the past when we have a break, normally all the kids would lay in one spot around the water, and now we are spread out across the field,” said Coach Shane Anderson.
Even with the challenges, student-athletes are happy to be back with their teammates and play the game they love.
“We have a group chat, and we normally text in it almost everyday and do a lot of team stuff, so we are super excited for this season,” said Robinson Volleyball setter Delani Degner.
Class 1A-4A Volleyball teams will be able to have their first matches on August 10th, and football teams can play their first games on August 27th.