TEXARKANA, Texas (KTAL/KMSS) – After months of uncertainty, it’s been decided that high school football will return to East Texas this fall. The University Interscholastic League (UIL) made the announcement on July 22, 2020.
Things will look a little differently than in years past and some East Texas schools have already started practicing for the season.
“The last thing I thought was that we had a chance to miss our senior year. Nobody wants to miss their senior year for injury or virus or anything,” said Nickolas Martin, Pleasant Grove Running Back.
Over the last several months, many athletes and football fans have been curious to know if football would resume due to the COVID-19 circumstances.
“We feel blessed. So many things have been taken away in the last five and a half months. For us, it seems like a step in the direction for normalcy again. So to be able to get the kids out there and get them in the experience we’re really fired up about that,” said Josh Gibson, Pleasant Grove Athletic Director and Head Coach.
Texas High School head football coach said there’s still a lot of uncertainty.
“There’s a ton of things that we haven’t experienced yet that I think we’re about to experience. I can tell you this, the thing about football coaches across the state is I think they’re the best at adjusting. We’re in the period of adjustment and we’re going to make adjustments as those things come along and we’ll keep working at it,” said Jerry Standford, Texas High Athletic Director and Head Coach.
According to the coaching staff, games will only seat at 50 percent capacity and players will be required to wear face masks on the sidelines. Students said the new COVID-19 rules will be an adjustment, but one they’re willing to make.
“With the mask and stuff, it’s hard to breathe through them. You can only do so much with the social distancing and stuff,” said Torey Phillips, Pleasant Grove Defensive End.
Both schools are having regular strength and conditioning practices. According to the coaches, the UIL rules won’t allow practices to start until August 3rd.
Pleasant Grove’s first game kicks off August 28, 2020 against Nashville High School. As for Texas High School, their season begins September 17, 2020 against Longview High School.