The summer is for preparation to compete in the high school sports schedule, but that is on hold as athletic directors and teams try to figure out how they are going to navigate the future with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Currently, no teams can practice or work out as a group or at any school facilities.
That can also put a dent in summer camps and preparation schedules and then of course, the schedules for the fall are still under threat.
“The UIL has a start date for games and we are trying to schedule those games and for the most part we have,” Goose Creek CISD athletic director Dr. Bernard Mulvaney said. “We are meeting with the other teams in our district and getting those schedules set for all of our teams and doing the same with football. For the most part, they are set. Just like a couple of years ago with the hurricane, you have to adjust on the fly.
“I think if there were going to be any change and this is just me speculating, I believe the UIL would do everything it could to salvage district games. That would mean like non-district football games would get the axe.”
Mulvaney added the UIL could remove the limitations on how many events can be played per week – which currently is one.
As far as potential lost monies from canceled camps, teams may be beholden to the times.
“Obviously, with this being a situation, I don’t have specific answers, but what I can tell you is camps are limited and we will do what we can to make sure our coaches and our players are taken care of for what they need,” Mulvaney said. “I don’t know what that’s going to look like, but until the UIL get clearance and we get that I will be able to answer that a bit better. We will take care of them though, no doubt about it.
“We will definitely look at reprioritizing and seeing what the needs are. I do have some stuff in the works, but for now I am just speculating.”
This is definitely a time when a coach’s hands can be tied.
“Even the experts don’t know what’s going to happen,” Barbers Hill baseball coach David Denny said. “It’s foolish for me to say, ‘here’s what we are going to do.’ You hope that the high school kids – and I know some of them are starting to practice – are getting together which is important to get reps. But with summer league and Connie Mack and all the things we’ve done in the summer, we may just have to cancel it. We are playing it by ear just like everybody else.
“Until Governor Abbott or a school district tells us what we can do … but, in sports, how do you maintain social distancing with 50 to 60 kids? And what do you do if someone does get sick? Is it worth the gamble to try it?”
Denny admits the loss of summer camps, which usually helps fund a sports program, would be finances they would not be able to recoup.
“You just hope that they increase our budget in the fall,” Denny said. “There is no magic wand or crystal ball fixing to say what’s going to happen.
“Nobody’s been before. We can’t say that ‘back in 1918, high school baseball …”
Adam Shibley baseball coach of Sterling said the camps weren’t about making money, but connecting with the youth and building excitement for the program.
“Most of the money goes toward T-shirts and snacks for the kids at camp,” Shibley said. “It’s about showing kids what we do and build some excitement for kids wanting to grow up and be a Ranger.”
But the lost summer has other impacts.
“I don’t even know what to plan for the summer,” he said. “If it does happen you want to be ready to go. The process has proven to be successful, but now I am in unchartered territory, so I am lost a little bit. The next step is pretty uncertain. I don’t know what we are going to be allowed to do and what changes will be made.”