The University Interscholastic League have released plans for falls sports to continue this season.
Coaches and athletes across the state can now at least have a sense of direction in preparing for fall sports seasons. In a little over a week and a half, fall sports can continue this year, but there will be quite a few changes.
When people of think of Texas, one of the first things they think of is high school football.
For Mart, Friday nights in the fall are spent cheering on the Panthers, but the pandemic has changed a lot since last season.
“We are the three-time, three peat state champions, so just in case somebody forgets about that. We do want the opportunity to try to win four in a row, which only four teams in the state of Texas has ever done. So we know the history. We know what’s at stake and so the town just wants an opportunity and the kids just want an opportunity to play football,” said Mart Athletic Director and Head Football Coach, Kevin Hoffman.
The UIL has come out with a fall sports plan for Class 1A-4A stating they can continue as scheduled.
Volleyball and football can begin practice the same day, August 3rd, with matches beginning on August 10, and football games on August 27th.
“We finished the first half of our workout this morning, and I told all the coaches. We took a break, and told all the kids and everybody was just excited and happy that at least we have a direction,”said Kevin Hoffman.
For Class 5A & 6A, the dates will be pushed back by five weeks.
Practice for volleyball and football can begin on September 7th, volleyball matches can begin September 14th, and football games on September 24th.
While sports can begin again, the announcement doesn’t guarantee a program can play.
Due to a McLennan County order, Mart will have to push their season back to September 7th.
”The younger athletes, the younger patients, or younger people being carriers and effecting the older population still exists for some of these coaches who are older and may have underlying health conditions,”said Dr. Jason Courseault, Baylor Scott & White Southwest Sports Medicine & Orthopedics.
The danger of exposure is not so much with spectators during events.
That can be easily enforced. However, keeping a team socially distanced during travel, practice, and games will be the biggest challenge in the fall.
“From a crowd perspective you can more easily coordinate some distancing there. They are not having to go head to head or block each other or tackle each other in that sense, but on the field, in the locker room, on the sidelines. That is going to be more of challenge,”said Dr. Jason Courseault.
Sports in McLennan County will have to wait a little longer.
The McLennan County Public Health District did issue control measures today delaying in-person and other school activities until September 7th, so this will impact games and practices for schools in McLennan County.