EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – After being delayed a month due to the COVID-19 pandemic, high school football is finally back in the Borderland.
Per University Interscholastic League (UIL) rules, high school football teams could begin practicing on Monday, Sept. 14. Eastwood High School took that date quite literally, taking the field at 12 a.m. for ‘Midnight Madness.’
“In a year that’s so no normal, we wanted to give the kids some type of normalcy,” said head coach Julio Lopez. “Obviously we don’t have a crowd — I wish we would’ve had a crowd and give them an experience that we’ve all become accustomed to for our first practice, but to be able to get out here at midnight and keep the tradition going is great. It’s fun — it’s fun for the kids and gives them a sense of normalcy. Maybe just for two hours they feel like things are back to normal.”
Eastwood, much like every high school football team in the country, held their offseason virtually. Monday was a day they’ve been waiting for since March.
“I’m really thankful to just be out here and participating in a great Eastwood tradition, no matter the circumstances,” said junior quarterback Andrew Martinez. “It feels great to get back to doing what we love everyday and just worry about football like normal teenagers.”
The next hurdle for schools across Texas and in El Paso is getting to gameday. Thursday, Oct. 1, will be the first wave of high school football games in the Sun City. Oct. 2, will be the first full Friday night of high school football.
“Just to get here on day one and again in three weeks — be able to strap in up, hopefully, and not run into any speed bumps along the way — we couldn’t be more happy and excited.”
Eastwood will open the season on Friday, Oct. 2, against Hanks at Trooper Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.