Smaller schools (1A-4A) may start football on time, but still have to adjust


KETK – The decision by the UIL to allow Class 4A and under schools to start football season on time was welcomed, as well as unexpected.

“We’re pretty shocked around here you know, to be honest man, we’re excited about getting to play football and appreciate the UIL helping us be able to do that,” said Lindale head coach Chris Cochran.

“That’s the world right now, you know that’s Texas right now, just the not knowing, and just trying to get things planned out to begin everything,” said Bullard head coach Scott Callaway. “It comes back to safety, what’s best for our community and our kids.”

But while the dates remain the same, many non-district games had to change, as schools had to find new opponents, to replace 5A teams in their non-district stretch.

“When that announcement was made, me and my staff, we immediately started working,” said Chapel Hill head coach Jeff Riordan. “Started looking at schedules online, trying to find any other 4As in the area that had 5As on their schedule that we could contact and possibly get a game.”

Chapel Hill has been able to fill their first three weeks with Splendora, Kaufman, and Terrell.

“It’s been very similar to realignment, just it happened really, really fast,” said Cochran. “Realignment, I feel like people kind of know what to expect and this is just brand new, it’s uncharted.”

But just like in the course of a game, these coaches say they’re ready to make the needed adjustments.

“That’s what we have to do as coaches, it’s what we have to teach our kids to change with adverse situations so we’re just crossing a lot of new water right now,” said Callaway.

“You hear a bunch of different things, but to finally know the plan and know we’re going to get to have a football season was huge,” said Riordan.

The dust has yet to settle, but while the big boys have to wait, the small schools will be getting the spotlight in August.

Watch the video to see Garrett Sanders’ story.

The UIL released a statement saying in part:

The modifications to the 2020-2021 calendar differ by activity and conference and can be found on the UIL website and in the chart above. These adjustments reflect the public health situation at this time and the varying numbers of COVID-19 cases across different geographic areas of the state. This plan provides a delay for schools in highly-populated metro areas, primarily conferences 5A-6A, given the challenges with COVID-19 those communities are facing, while providing schools in other areas, primarily 1A-4A, an opportunity to start seasons on schedule. Acknowledging the situation is not always clear-cut and that COVID-19 affects every community differently, the plan also allows for local flexibility and encourages districts to plan for possible interruptions in order to complete district seasons.

University Interscholastic League

Schools may allow spectators to attend games, contests, or events within a maximum 50-percent capacity limitation, provided that appropriate spacing between spectators is maintained. Seating in consecutive rows is also prohibited, and schools should block off seating to maintain a minimum six feet of distance between groups.

Spectators, fans and members of the media will be required to wear face coverings under Executive Order GA-29.

Sites are also encouraged to utilize remote ticketing options to help manage capacity limitations and are advised to keep paper ticketing and programming minimized to help avoid transferable materials.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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