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The New Reality of Texas High School Sports

by Dylan DeRaud

If there is one constant to every year in Texas, it’s the excitement for high school football. However, the worldwide pandemic that has been brought upon all of us by the coronavirus has placed a stormcloud on the beauty that is football in Texas. The seasons for 6a and 5a district teams were postponed till late september and many games since have either been postponed or cancelled all together. Just in the past few weeks, over 50 plus games have been cancelled in the North Texas area according to the Dallas Morning News. On top of that, The Texas Department of State Health Services reported that there are 5,917 new covid cases in the Central Texas area on Oct. 22. With cases nowhere near slowing down, measures have had to be taken by local high schools and the University Scholastic League (UIL) to keep their players and staff safe.  

“Because of social distancing these days, the pressbox list is a small one (provided by each school participating). We have no pass gate as such because everybody has to be counted” said Nan Arredondo, the athletic secretary at San Marcos High School. According to the UIL Covid-19 information section on their website as well, “Schools may allow spectators to attend contests up to a maximum of 50% of a venue’s capacity, provided appropriate spacing as prescribed in the guidelines is maintained”. 

Other schools have even taken different routes as Wimberley ISD follows the new guidelines by requiring every attendee above the age of ten to wear a mask while at the game, along with having every fan go through a screening process before entering the stadium. When I asked Katherine King, the athletic secretary of Wimberley High School, if I could obtain a media field pass for an upcoming game. I got the response “I am only allowed to issue out 2 media passes each game and I am out” said King. 

The drastically small amount of media passes able to be handed out shows just how much the pandemic has put a damper on the Texas high school football season. Normally stadiums are filled to the brim and media members and boosters are strewn across the sidelines. Covid-19 has really put a giant question mark on the ability of these kids and their coaches to finish out a healthy season and it’s on the schools along with UIL to make sure everyone stays safe. 

Vandegrift Head Coach and Horn Sports reporter Devon Messinger talks with me about the 2020 football season.

TXHSFB 2020 Timeline Infographic:

https://www.canva.com/design/DAEMYbWnqX4/9SAnjKc9Qt96kFUHqoPY3Q/view?utm_content=DAEMYbWnqX4&utm_campaign=designshare&utm_medium=link&utm_source=viewer

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