Where do we go from here? With all UIL activities suspended until the end of March ball fields, gymnasiums and tracks along with academic events have all been silenced.
News of the suspension was just reaching the ears of fans and family members at the Thrall baseball tournament Friday evening. The following morning all of the schools from the tournament had withdrawn their teams due to safety concerns.
“Since this thing is spreading so quickly it’s better to take precautions. We don’t want to be reactive, it’s better to be proactive,” said Carlos Watson.
Student-athletes from all around the local area are missing out on their spring sports ranging from baseball and softball to track. For the seniors, our hearts are broken as this spring semester is their last moment to shine as high school athletes.
“It’s going to be tough that were missing a lot of quality at-bats and playing time. It's unfortunate how it cycled through the top pro level down to us, but we're just going to have to make do with it, it’s just another bump in the road in our season,” said Thrall third baseman Caden Leschber.
Coaches around the area are, like everyone else, first and foremost concerned for the health and safety of the students. There have been no team practices since the suspension was implemented.
“We are not allowed to practice at the moment, hopefully, kids are getting some work in on their own,” said Taylor softball coach Rheagan Penn.
As a community, in a situation like this, the importance of sports indeed takes a back seat.
“The first priority is everybody’s safety and that’s what we’re focused on. In the next week or so when more information is available then we will be able to get our kids focused where they need to be. But again, at this time their safety is first priority,” said Granger baseball coach Kody Kuhl.
Even local officials who are also parents of student-athletes presented their agreement with the UIL’s decision.
“As a parent, I support the UIL’s decision to suspend interscholastic competition. I believe that is a prudent decision in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. There is a lot we don’t know with respect to the virus, and it is better to be safe than sorry. Certainly, there is no reason to panic, but we should all be taking suitable precautions and making responsible decisions. I believe UIL did just that is suspending its contests,” said Mayor Rydell.
This brief pause has cast a dark cloud, but once this pandemic has been contained and eliminated, we can then return to watching our kids return to athletic competition.