6A & 5A East Texas football coaches are excited, even if they have to wait a bit longer for the season


TYLER, Texas (KETK) – It’s going to be different, and the big schools are going to have to wait a bit longer, but as of right now, we will have high school football in Texas.

“It took a lot of work on the UIL’s part, I know they’re not going to make everybody happy, there are people who may not be happy,” said Longview head coach John King. “But we have football, and it’s a chance to have a season and a heck of a lot better than no season.”

For schools in the at the 6A and 5A level, full football practice will now be moved to September 7th, with games starting on September 24th.

The postseason will also be moved back, meaning these schools will be able to have a full schedule.

“That was a great big surprise for me, you know I thought that maybe something was going to get cut here and there for the football schedules but, to see them push it back and start with us having a full season,” said Ricklan Holmes, head coach of the school formerly known as John Tyler. “Yeah, we won’t have a state championship in December, but we’ll have one in January.”

As for filling out those schedules, it will have to change for certain teams, like Nacogdoches, who had 4A Kilgore slated in the regular season, and Henderson as a scrimmage.

“They’ve left it open to fill your schedule if you can and really just with a later start and finish,” said Nacogdoches head coach Darren Allman.

Nothing has been ideal through this process, but the biggest takeaway, according to these coaches, has been the reaction from their athletes.

“The kids needed to hear that it’s going to happen because they were starting to feel the anxiety of the unknown and I’m just glad the UIL finally released something,” said King.

“It is good news for coaches and kids to know that the work is going to pay off and we’re going to really get together and compete,” said Allman.

“At the end of the day, the UIL, I think they made the best decision for us, for the kids, for the community, for the state of Texas,” said Holmes.

Because high school football at this level is well worth the wait.

Watch the video to see Garrett Sanders’ story.

The East Texas schools having to move their schedules are:

  • Conference 6A:
    • District 11:
      • Tyler Lee
  • Conference 5A Division 1:
    • District 7:
      • John Tyler
      • Longview
    • District 8:
      • Lufkin
  • Conference 5A Division 2:
    • District 8:
      • Greenville
      • Sulphur Springs
      • Corsicana
      • Crandall
      • Royse City
    • District 9:
      • Hallsville
      • Jacksonville
      • Pine Tree
      • Marshall
      • Mount Pleasant
      • Nacogdoches
      • Texas High
      • Whitehouse

The UIL released a statement saying in part:

The modifications to the 2020-2021 calendar differ by activity and conference and can be found on the UIL website and in the chart above. These adjustments reflect the public health situation at this time and the varying numbers of COVID-19 cases across different geographic areas of the state. This plan provides a delay for schools in highly-populated metro areas, primarily conferences 5A-6A, given the challenges with COVID-19 those communities are facing, while providing schools in other areas, primarily 1A-4A, an opportunity to start seasons on schedule. Acknowledging the situation is not always clear-cut and that COVID-19 affects every community differently, the plan also allows for local flexibility and encourages districts to plan for possible interruptions in order to complete district seasons.

University Interscholastic League

Schools may allow spectators to attend games, contests, or events within a maximum 50-percent capacity limitation, provided that appropriate spacing between spectators is maintained. Seating in consecutive rows is also prohibited, and schools should block off seating to maintain a minimum six feet of distance between groups.

Spectators, fans and members of the media will be required to wear face coverings under Executive Order GA-29.

Sites are also encouraged to utilize remote ticketing options to help manage capacity limitations and are advised to keep paper ticketing and programming minimized to help avoid transferable materials.

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

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