High school football practices begin

Texas 1A through 4A schools were allowed to hold their first practices on Monday
Published: Aug. 3, 2020 at 8:25 PM CDT
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WEST TEXAS (KOSA) - Good news for local sports fans, high school football is back. Monday marked the first day of practice for teams in the 1A through 4A classifications.

Before the sun even rose, Coach Rusty Purser and his Greenwood Rangers were out on the field, adapting to what he called “the new world.”

“It’s about our kids’ safety and protection,” Purser said. “If we don’t do things right now, we’re not going to be playing football in September and October.”

Anyone not wearing a helmet at Greenwood practice had to have on a mask, and trainers sprayed water into players’ mouths, instead of having hundreds of hands touching the bottles.

The team of about 120 kids was split into groups, so if someone were to test positive or show symptoms, at worst only that group would need to be quarantined.

“It sucks because you can’t take your helmet off without putting this on,” senior linebacker Michael Gutierrez said, gesturing to his mask. “You’re already breathing hard, and then this thing doesn’t really help. Then the social distancing, we all mess around with each other, and we can’t do that as much as we used to.”

But the players agree all the precautions are worth it.

“We were hoping they weren’t going to cancel [the season]” senior running back Trey Cross said. “They’re giving us a chance. Not everything is guaranteed, but we’re out here doing what we’re supposed to and at least getting the time we can.”

Meanwhile at the 1A, or 6-man, level, the smaller enrollments make managing COVID easier.

In fact in Garden City, you probably couldn’t tell there was a pandemic. Glasscock County has only had six confirmed coronavirus cases since the beginning of the pandemic.

“We’re not under that mask order,” Garden City Head Coach Jeff Jones said. “We’ve told kids and parents that they can wear a mask for their own peace of mind. But it’s been going good without them. If it comes down that we’ve got to put masks on, we’ll put the mask on and continue to work.”

Garden City players were instructed to bring their own water bottles, and equipment was sanitized after use.

Copyright 2020 KOSA. All rights reserved.

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