EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – It was worth the wait. Ysleta Independent School District (YISD) campuses beginning summer workouts on Wednesday with strict guidelines outlined by the University Interscholastic League (UIL), as well as some guidelines of their own.
YISD was the last school district in El Paso to begin summer strength and conditioning after most of the city returned to campuses last week.
“Our biggest goal this summer is obviously the safety and making sure we adhere to policy and procedure every single day that we have set in place,” said Eastwood head football coach Julio Lopez. “As far as what we are trying to get out of our workouts, we are trying to get the kids back in shape.”
One YISD campus kept its doors closed on Wednesday. Hanks High School has postponed athletic activity after a coach tested positive for the coronavirus. According to Hanks principle Enrique Herrera, all four coaches who came in contact with the coach who tested positive for the virus have tested negative and have been cleared by the school.
Across the state of Texas, schools and districts have been shutting down athletic activity once there is a confirmed case of the coronavirus. It is enough to have some coaching staffs hesitant to bring student-athletes back on campus, but YISD coaches feel confident with the precautions being taken to keep everyone safe and healthy.
“The plan is in place. We have taken our time as a group and as a district,” said Bel Air head football coach Eric Scogin. “We have the safety measures in place. We are going to worry about each day as it comes.”
As it stands, full contact practices are expected to begin in a little over a month. The biggest question the UIL faces is how to get from workouts in masks to helmet and pads.
“I think what you are going to see as the biggest hurdle — and you’re seeing it now with summer strength and conditioning — it’s what do you do when you have a positive test? I thinks that’s going to be the key for every single team, district, and the main thing the UIL has to address,” said Lopez. “It’s going to happen, but I think what’s going to determine a football season is what everyone’s views are on what happens after that [positive test]. If you make a team self-quarantine for two weeks in the middle of football season, I guess they’re forfeiting games?”
With every school district in El Paso now taking part in summer workouts, coaches and administrators are on high alert. However, it is the conversations taking place at UIL headquarters in Austin that will ultimately determine a Texas high school football season.