UIL announces delay to fall sports for 5A-6A

Player, coach, administrator give perspective on decision

A+tennis+racket%2C+volleyball%2C+football%2C+running+shoes+and+gloves+wait+to+be+used+by+high+athletes.+The+University+Scholastic+League+took+action+today%2C+July+21%2C+to+delay+fall+sports+for+5A+and+6A+conferences%2C+including+volleyball%2C+football%2C+tennis+and+cross+country.+The+first+competions+for+each+sport+will+not+occur+for+at+least+five+weeks.+%22UIL+is+tasked+with+making+difficult+decisions+for+all+student+athletes+across+Texas%2C%22+soon-to-be+superintendent+Holly+Ferguson+said.+%22They+have+proven+to+continue+to+base+their+decisions+on+facts+while+also+remembering+how+many+student+athletes%2C+coaches%2C+and+parents+are+depending+on+them+to+do+their+best.+They+have+proven+throughout+the+presence+of+the+virus+that+they+are+up+for+the+challenge.%22

A tennis racket, volleyball, football, running shoes and gloves wait to be used by high athletes. The University Scholastic League took action today, July 21, to delay fall sports for 5A and 6A conferences, including volleyball, football, tennis and cross country. The first competions for each sport will not occur for at least five weeks. "UIL is tasked with making difficult decisions for all student athletes across Texas," soon-to-be superintendent Holly Ferguson said. "They have proven to continue to base their decisions on facts while also remembering how many student athletes, coaches, and parents are depending on them to do their best. They have proven throughout the presence of the virus that they are up for the challenge."

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UIL announced that sports will be delayed for the fall 2020 semester. For 5A-6A districts, football games are delayed to a Sept. 24 start, while volleyball games are delayed until Sept. 14. However, Cross country, tennis, and marching band can compete, starting Sept. 7.

“UIL is tasked with making difficult decisions for all student athletes across Texas,” said lone finalist and soon-to-be new superintendent Dr. Holly Ferguson. “They have proven to continue to base their decisions on facts while also remembering how many student athletes, coaches, and parents are depending on them to do their best.  They have proven throughout the presence of the virus that they are up for the challenge.”

With the new announcement, seniors said they are left feeling upset, but are trying to stay hopeful about a possible chance to play after the delay.

“While I’m disappointed we won’t start on time, I’m happy and optimistic that we’ll have a season,” senior volleyball player Sami Jacobs said. “We have a great chance to go far in playoffs this year, and I just want to play one last time with this team.”

Although coaches across the state have noted discouragement, head football coach Brandon Schmitd, said this delay could benefit his team.

“We are very excited,” Schmitd said. “To still have the opportunity to play a full season is awesome.  The delayed start will be beneficial for a lot of programs.  It will allow us the ability to make up some of the time lost by not having spring football.”

Besides games being pushed back, practices are also delayed. Students are finding creative ways to keep themselves prepared.

“I’ve been going to Prosper’s strength and conditioning camp weekly, working out at home and trying to get into the gym as much as I can to get touches on the ball,” Jacobs said.

While I’m disappointed we won’t start on time, I’m happy and optimistic that we’ll have a season.”

— Sami Jacobs, senior volleyball player

Although Prosper students and staff said they look forward to sports, safety is still a priority, Ferguson said. So, the district will continue to follow established guidelines set in place to avoid the spread of COVID-19.

“Our students and staff are always a top priority, and we have implemented specific cleaning routines in our facilities as well as following all of the guidelines set forth by local, state, and federal agencies,” Ferguson said.  “Our staff has truly stepped up to the plate to reinforce the importance of social distancing and keeping groups together and not mixing students to support health and safety for all.”