By Josh Orozco
Assistant Sports Director
High school football fans, staff and player’s eager for fall sports, will have to wait an additional month for the beginning of the season.
The University Interscholastic League provided an updated schedule to practices, games and championship dates regarding high school fall sports on Tuesday.
San Marcos high school falls under class 6A which results at the beginning of practice being pushed back from August 3 to September 7.
Texas high school football will now run from the third week of September through an undetermined date set for state title games in January of next year.
The Rattlers open their season at home against New Braunfels on the newly set kickoff date of September 25.
New San Marcos head coach and athletic director John Walsh are excited that the Rattlers now have a plan in place.
“UIL has taken a lot of criticism on how they’ve handled it but I think they’ve done the best that they could do,” Walsh said. “I think the UIL worked hard and gave us a great avenue to get our kids on the fields or courts and let them do what they love to do and represent their cities.”
Walsh believes the return to sports could prove as a vital tool for the local community.
“I’m excited that sports, in particular San Marcos [athletics], can be a model on how we can get back to normal as close as we can and do things safely,” Walsh said. “It’s different for us; I’m coaching from a different distance. We’re having to challenge ourselves on making our drills smarter and safer.”
UIL Executive Director Charles Breithaupt hopes the updated schedule provides a clear path for the return of sports for Texas students and schools.
“While understanding situations change and there will likely be interruptions that will require flexibility and patience, we are hopeful this plan allows students to participate in the education-based activities they love in a way that prioritizes safety and mitigates the risk of COVID-19 spread,” Breithaupt said.
UIL’s updated schedule pushes back the start of Texas high school football for approximately 500 5A and 6A schools, with 1A-4A, classified schools continuing to start their season as originally scheduled.
Under the new guidelines, schools are allowed to have crowds of up to 50% capacity. Groups will not be allowed to be in consecutive rows to maintain social distancing.
This regulation allows San Marcos to fill Toyota Rattler Stadium with a maximum of 4,000 attendees.
Other high school sports affected by UIL’s announcement include tennis, cross country, volleyball and basketball.
Rattler volleyball will now begin their season on September 14. UIL also canceled all non-district tournaments for high school basketball thus pushing their season from the winter to the spring.
Additional information about UIL’s COVID-19 risk mitigation guidelines can be found here.
Catch coach Walsh on Bobcat Radio as he discusses the UIL reschedule, new leadership with his latest coaching hires and much more at 11 on KTSW-FM 89.9.
Featured image by Justin Manor.