LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) - A month ago fans from around the state were converging on San Antonio for the UIL Girls basketball state tournament. Now fans and athletes are at home wondering when sports will return as the nation practices social distancing as a way to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
The girls state tournament was the last championship event to be completed. The 1A and 3A squads on the boys side got their semifinals in before the tournament was suspended. The soccer playoffs were getting ready to start and track athletes were gearing up for district meets. Baseball and softball were preparing for the grind of district play.
“We are suspended until we have more information,” UIL Deputy Director Dr. Jamey Harrison said in a video conference of the UIL Medical Advisory Committee.
All competitions and practices were originally put on hold until March 30. That was then extended to May 4 and last week pushed back further since Governor Greg Abbott signed an executive order keeping schools closed until May 4.
“What we have committed to is if we start school back, not starting school back and immediately having competition, Harrison said. “Schools will need an opportunity to have students re-acclimate. We do not know what those students have been doing in terms of physical activity. We know we are going to provide an acclimatization of some sort. Until we have information on when schools may or may not be in session it is difficult to make any final plans. We do have plans that would allow us to complete all of our state championship activities for this academic year should that opportunity present itself.”
Football coaches have already started to plan for no spring-season. The biggest thing for them would be adding a second scrimmage in the fall.