UIL announces high school sports and marching band practices can return June 8

Published: May. 30, 2020 at 5:36 PM CDT
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The UIL announced that high school sports and marching band practice is allowed to return on June 8, along with safety guidelines to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

These guidelines include one coach to every 15 to 20 players, only 25% capacity inside gyms, all equipment must be disinfected after each use, no shared water bottles or food, and all practices must be optional.

“Man, as soon as we got the notice that we could do strength and conditioning we started meeting,” Odessa High School Athletic Director and football head coach Danny Servance said. “The downtown administration has been great. Like you said social distancing is still going to be a big thing. We’ve got about six to eight stations that we’re going to work through. Strength, power, conditioning, agility. Making sure our kids get work efficiently, but safely."

The student-athletes will also be responsible for sending in their health status via Google form every day. Coaches also say it will be easier to keep track of the players and coach players one-on-one in these smaller groups.

“They’ll have to send out a google form before they start to make sure they’re good,” Lee High School football head coach Clint Hartman said. “We’ll monitor them everyday. But, as we continue to go through this, the last couple years we’ve ran five, six, 700 kids through here in a day. It’s not easy to come up missing when you’ve got a group of 15. It’s like when you’re a kid and you ask your parents for two scoops of ice cream and they say one is enough. We got two scoops of ice cream that [day the news was released.]”

Although the players haven’t been in the weight room at their respective schools, they’ve been doing their own versions of socially distant workouts to maintain their physique and prepare for the season ahead.

“Well, it’s very exciting you know,” Servance said. “We feel like our kids have done a terrific job with the zoom meetings, all the position meetings, sending in videos of them working out on their own and all that. But, for us to have an opportunity to do strength and conditioning this summer, that's huge.”

While the COVID-19 pandemic is still prevalent, not living in fear while also making smart decisions is the message coaches all over West Texas want to be heard as sports return.

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