A WHOLE NEW BALLGAME

Masks, mandates a small price to pay for love of the game


Masks have become a necessity to those in the world of athletics with the UIL mandating anyone not “actively engaging” in an exercise or drill to wear a face covering in an attempt to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. Top left: Poteet Athletic Director and Head football Coach Darby House dons a face covering while meandering through Poteet’s stretching lines on the first day of practice. Top right: Jourdanton junior hitter Gwyn Wells tries to finish off an attack while wearing a mask during the Squaws’ first practice of the season. Bottom left: Pleasanton Head football Coach Stephen Liska coaches up his team while wearing his face covering. Bottom right: Pleasanton volleyball Assistant Coach Brant Bird puts a ball in play during the Lady Eagles first day of practice. SAM FOWLER | PLEASANTON EXPRESS

Masks have become a necessity to those in the world of athletics with the UIL mandating anyone not “actively engaging” in an exercise or drill to wear a face covering in an attempt to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. Top left: Poteet Athletic Director and Head football Coach Darby House dons a face covering while meandering through Poteet’s stretching lines on the first day of practice. Top right: Jourdanton junior hitter Gwyn Wells tries to finish off an attack while wearing a mask during the Squaws’ first practice of the season. Bottom left: Pleasanton Head football Coach Stephen Liska coaches up his team while wearing his face covering. Bottom right: Pleasanton volleyball Assistant Coach Brant Bird puts a ball in play during the Lady Eagles first day of practice. SAM FOWLER | PLEASANTON EXPRESS

Monday was like Christmas for Atascosa County coaches starting practice for 2020.

“You’re always excited at this time of year, I never sleep,” Poteet Athletic Director and Head football Coach Darby House said. “Heck, same as last year, I got here at 3:30 [a.m.] just like I did last year and the year before. It’s one of those [things], you know, it’s like Christmas. You can’t wait for it to get here and you can’t sleep until it comes.”

For the first time in almost five months, coaches and players were out on the fields and courts around Atascosa County gearing up for games.

Schools in classes 4A down to 1A across the state of Texas were allowed to begin their preseason camps, albeit with mask mandates and social distancing guidelines in place to help slow the spread of the coronavirus.

If it means they get to be out on the field doing what they love, coaches and players alike will make that sacrifice to have a season this fall.

“If we want to play on Friday nights or any kind of football this year, that’s what we’ve got to do and our kids understand that, our coaches understand that,” Pleasanton Head football Coach Stephen Liska said. “And we’re just excited to be out there and be the ones that, you know, started off for the whole school year.”

 

 

For athletes like Jourdanton senior footballer Brett Berg, the last couple of months have been like waiting on pins and needles. They were not sure if they would get to play this fall.

“There were definitely mixed emotions,” Berg said. “We were playing and then we weren’t playing, going back and forth. But I know every single person on this field is excited for what’s to come this year.”

“We’ve just been waiting since we got out of school,” Pleasanton senior cornerback Ashon Thompson said. “We’re ready to get back in the weight room, we’re ready to be back on the field. We’re just happy to get back on the field and put in the work and hopefully go to the playoffs.”

 

 

 

 

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