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By James McAfee / The Knox County News-Courier—
The University Interscholastic League stopped short of issuing a mandatory order to end summer workouts for Texas high schools but issued a recommendation last week that schools shut down programs from July 3-12.
With the July 4 holiday and the potential for increased social interactions that could spread COVID-19, UIL recommends schools consider closing summer workouts, rehearsals, practices and instruction between July 3-12, resuming Monday, July 13, the UIL posted.
“For schools in areas experiencing community spread of COVID-19, this temporary suspension will reduce risk of exposure and provide an opportunity to review current plans and re-evaluate local contests in order to make informed decisions moving forward,” the release stated.
The UIL said it would continue to work with state officials and monitor the Centers for Disease Controls and other federal guidelines to determine potential changes to UIL summer guidelines.
More than 200 schools across Texas had already suspended workouts until July 13.
Included in the time frame until July 13 are two “periods of no activity,” in which no school facilities may be open to student-athletes, July 3 and July 7-8. There is an additional period of no activity, July 20-21
“We have suspended workout for the next week following UIL recommendations,” said Munday Athletics Director Justin Josselet. “Plan on starting back on July 13 with normal schedule.”
Josselet did add details about two new coaches, Karon Martinson as the volleyball coach and Clarissa Morales as an assistant.
“Martinson brings a wealth of experience after having coached for 24 years, with the bulk of her time spent in Throckmorton,” he said. “She has been the head coach of multiple sports throughout her coaching career. We are excited to add a coach of her caliber and experience to our staff.
“Morales taught and coached last year in Bowie. This will be her second year of coaching after graduating from Texas State. We are excited to add her to our team and look forward to the energy she will bring.”
Knox City Athletics Director Caleb Callaway said he has not stopped workouts. “We have some dead days coming up, so we gave the kids a couple of extra days off. We have gotten some more information from the UIL about some loosened restrictions starting on July 13th. This is good news as we are getting closer to official start dates.
“I don’t like speculate on what may happen, but there could be quite a few things like limited capacities, possible late starts, or a multitude of different things. I hope to see a continued path toward starting normally, but I know the health and safety of all those involved is important and do not want to jeopardize that. We will continue to follow guidance from the UIL and do our part to be sure we are ready when it is time to start. We can only control our program and our kids know that we have to do our part and whatever information comes in we will modify and adjust.”
Benjamin Coach Shannon Waters said workouts had been stopped and would resume July 13.
In addition, the Texas Girls Coaches Association canceled its July 6-9 clinic in Arlington and will have a virtual clinic that begins July 15 and be available until Sept. 1.