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By Bev Odom/The Red River Sun—
WELLINGTON — Area schools in Class 1A through Class 4A, which includes Childress, Memphis and Wellington, will begin football practice starting Aug. 3, according to a ruling recently released by the University Scholastic League (UIL).
The ruling allows schools in more rural areas to begin on time with their seasons.
“I am very thankful for the UIL and THSCA (Texas High School Coaches Association) and for all the hard work they have put in that has allowed students across the state of Texas to compete in extracurricular activities,” Coach Greg Proffit, WISD athletic director and head football coach, said. “It’s an exciting time during what has been a tough spring and summer.”
Schools in Class 5A-6A, which are in more densely populated metro areas, will have their seasons pushed back at least three weeks, according to the ruling.
With guidance from the Texas Education Agency (TEA), UIL will work in conjunction with the CDC to continue monitoring the COVID-19 situation as the 2020 season begins.
“I’m excited for all our young men and women who are going to get to go compete again, it’s been a while,” Proffitt said. “It will not be like a normal year with all the different modifications that we are going to have to make in order for our kids to compete. All students, staff and the community are going to have to be extremely flexible during this time as we try to figure it all out together. I can’t wait to see our Skyrockets and Lady Rockets compete again.”
Guidelines for spectators and media staff have been released as well by UIL and state that to start the football season, schools may allow spectators with social distancing guidelines at 50-percent capacity. Face coverings will be required to be worn by spectators before, during and after the games.
Bands, cheerleaders and other student groups will be required to keep a distance from other fans and athletes, UIL stated.
“Our goal in releasing this plan is to provide a path forward for Texas students and schools,” UIL Executive Director Dr. Charles Breithaupt said in a statewide press release. “While understanding situations change and there will likely be interruptions that will require flexibility and patience, we are hopeful this plan allows students to participate in the education-based activities they love in a way that prioritizes safety and mitigates risk of COVID-19 spread.”
Volleyball practice for Childress Lady Cats and Memphis Lady Cyclones can begin Aug. 3, according to the UIL press release.
Modifications for all classes can be found on the UIL website, uiltexas.org or visit the UIL Facebook page.
*The 2020 Memphis Cyclone football has not been released. The Childress Bobcat varsity football schedule ran last week in The Sun.