Texas delays HS Football for larger schools

Sports

Before entering the field gates for football strength and conditioning camp at Arlington Martin High School, athletic Trainer Joey Pena, right, uses a thermometer on the forehead of sophomore running back Gervawn Neville for a temperature check Thursday, June 18, 2020, in Arlington, Texas. While states have been easing the economic and social lockdowns prompted by the coronavirus pandemic, some are now letting high school athletes return for summer workouts before teachers have even figured out how they are going to hold classroom instruction. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

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AUSTIN, Texas — Texas will delay the start of the public high school football season for its largest schools by a month as the state grapples with a recent surge of new coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and deaths.

Instead of starting practice Aug. 3, those schools can now start Sept. 7. The first games can be played Sept. 24, a month after the originally scheduled opening weekend.

The University Interscholastic League said it focused the delay on larger schools as many of them are in the states largest metropolitan areas, which have been hit hardest by the surge of virus cases.

Some school districts are already changing their calendars to delay the start of the academic year, or to begin the year with several weeks of online classes. The Houston school district, the largest in the state, won’t meet on campus until mid-October.

The UIL’s announcement said it also anticipates that not all schools will start at the same time and could face disruptions during the season.

“These adjustments reflect the public health situation at this time and the varying numbers of COVID-19 cases across different geographic areas of the state,” the UIL said in its announcement.

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