The writing is on the wall.
College conferences have already taken action to postpone the 2020 fall season.
The Ivy and Patriot Leagues, two Football Championship Subdivision conferences, have postponed their fall sports with a spring season being a possibility. The National Junior College Athletic Association will play football, soccer and volleyball in March. The Big 10 and Pac-12 have decided to play conference-only schedules and the Big 12 and ACC are expected to make a similar decision in the coming weeks.
Those are the dominoes starting to fall as we see a rise in coronavirus cases around the country, especially in Texas. Soon, those dominoes will hit high school sports here in Texas.
As schools resumed their summer workouts again, coaches had an eye on what the UIL was doing behind the scenes. They were told the season is still set to begin on Aug. 3, when schools can hold their first day of practice and the return to workouts meant they could also start offense vs. defense drills.
However, they know during this pandemic that anything can change at a moment’s notice.
“I think it’s big. It’s hard to say, with everything going on, what exactly anything means, though,” Jourdanton Athletic
Director and Head football Coach Darrell Andrus said, “because it seems like stuff changes daily. I think that’s the hard part for everything, not just football. It’s just unknown, the chance we get to start back up and then shut back down, those types of things.”
The unknown is not necessarily black and white either. Will the season be truncated like the collegiate level? Will the UIL opt to move fall sports to the spring and play the lower risk sports in the fall? Will we go on as planned?
“Nobody knows the when, the where, the how of if we’re gonna keep going or stop,” Charlotte Athletic Director Shawn Vowell said of summer workouts.
The UIL’s scheduled fall start date of Aug. 3 and loosened workout restrictions gives coaches hope for a regular fall amid the uncertainty.
“To me, it feels like they hope we’re gonna have a season. That’s the optimistic part about that,” Poteet Athletic Director and Head football Coach Darby House said. “It’s steps in the right direction of saying, ‘Hey, I think we’re gonna have a season.’”
Area coaches are also happy with the idea of a district-only regular season starting in late September or early October.
“Skipping about three weeks or five weeks of the non-district schedule and then starting, I would be open to that,” Vowell said. “I would love to start Aug. 3, but you just don’t have a clue.”