UIL high schools return to campus for workouts, El Paso school districts will wait

High School Sports

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – High school campuses across the state of Texas will officially open on Monday for summer strength and conditioning athletic programs. However, all high schools in the greater El Paso area will not be opening their doors.

Last month, the University Interscholastic League (UIL) gave the green light for campuses to begin limited in-person workouts under strict guidelines due to the threat of COVID-19.

While school districts in El Paso have yet to make an official announcement on when they will allow student-athletes back on campus, sources tell KTSM 9 Sports that Canutillo Independent School District, El Paso Independent School District, Socorro Independent School District, San Elizario Independent School District, Fabens Independent School District, and Anthony Independent School District all plan on opening no earlier than June 15. Ysleta Independent School District will return no earlier than June 22, but could push that date back to June 29.

Confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths continue to rise in El Paso. School administrators and coaches are proceeding with caution and when student-athletes do return to campus, workouts could very well be strictly outdoors.

“Before we do this, before we have our kids and our coaches out there, we have to make sure we have a safe plan in place and follow guidelines from the UIL and some of our own {guidelines},” said Del Valle head football coach Rudy Contreras.

With El Paso waiting it out, but other UIL high schools beginning to prepare for the 2020 high school football season, some coaches in El Paso wonder if it will lead to a competitive disadvantage.

“It’s a real catch-22,” said Americas head football coach Patrick Melton. “If we choose to go [begin on-campus workouts] and it’s too soon, then we risk being put back into a lockdown situation. If we choose not to go and nothing comes of it while everyone else is working out, that puts us behind the eight ball.”

You can never go wrong with putting the health and safety of student-athletes and their families first, which is why coaches continue to be innovative in the ways they virtually interact with their players during this unprecedented time.

“It’s something you have to really sit down and breakdown. We need to find out if this is going to work for us,” said Contreras. “I’m sure we are going to have to add some more things in El Paso, but the thing is, we have to keep up with the whole state. We have to keep up with the state, so we have to find a way.”

The high school football season in Texas is scheduled to kickoff on Thursday, August 27.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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