UIL cancels remaining spring sports, state championships due to COVID-19

High School Sports

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the University Interscholastic League made the tough decision on Friday to cancel all remaining spring sports, activities, and state championships.

The announcement came down from the UIL on Friday after Governor Greg Abbott gave orders that all Texas schools are to remain closed for the remainder of the school year.

“The bottom line is, you can’t do sports if you can’t do school. How were we going to justify doing sports?” said El Paso ISD athletic director Maria Kennedy.

Governor Abbott’s decision affects all public, private and higher education institutions and set in motion the cancelation of high school sports in Texas. However, the UIL announcement was by no means unexpected.

“As an athletic staff at Eastwood, we were preparing for this for a couple of weeks now,” said Eastwood athletic coordinator Julio Lopez.

While the UIL’s decision is meant to help slow the spread of COVID-19, an unfortunate side effect is the unceremonious ending to the high school careers of seniors across the state.

“Soccer was about to start the playoffs and that’s heartbreaking for those kids,” said Americas athletic coordinator Patrick Melton. “I feel bad that kids aren’t going to be able to experience their senior year.”

“We’ve got a pretty good group of seniors and they’re sharp and they get it, but ultimately they are disappointed and that’s an understatement. They are very dejected,” said Montwood baseball coach Willie Romo.

Though the ending is agonizing, Romo said there’s a more important lesson to be learned.

“Ultimately, it will make that group of young men better people,” Romo said. “Every day, I tell them to take this time to become better sons, better brothers and better teammates.”

UIL Statement:

With the announcement from Governor Greg Abbott that all Texas schools are to remain closed to in-person learning for the remainder of this school year, and in an effort to help protect the health and safety of Texans, the University Interscholastic League (UIL) is canceling all remaining 2019-2020 spring activities and state championships.

“Our staff had been working hard on plans to resume activities this spring, but without schools in session, interscholastic activities cannot continue,” said UIL Executive Director Dr. Charles Breithaupt. “Our highest priority during this challenging time is ensuring the health and safety of our students and communities and making progress in the containment of COVID-19 in Texas. We are now turning our attention to the 2020-2021 school year.”

Practices, rehearsals, and workouts remain suspended until further notice. The previously communicated information allowing remote instruction remains in place. The UIL will continue to follow the direction of state authorities and will work closely with member schools to navigate this unprecedented time.

“I am grateful to the UIL staff for their leadership and dedication to students,” said UIL Legislative Council Chair Curtis Rhodes. “Together we will get through this and we look forward to the day students are once again able to participate in education-based interscholastic activities.” 

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