ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – Dallas ISD Superintendent Michael Hinojosa said Thursday he has doubts about high school football in 2020. However, the UIL and North Texas coaches believe it can be done.
Bob Wager, head coach of the Arlington Martin football program for 15 years, said he just finished a successful 20-day camp in June that saw more than 600 athletes training in a socially distanced environment.
“They’re all in pods that are five yards apart, they never ever interact with one another,” he said.
Wager said one player tested positive for COVID-19 during the camp, but he believes it was contracted from a family member.
The coach said he will be moving forward with no apprehension at all about whether the football season will go on.
“I’d like to think about walking around with a backpack full of rocks, And that’s a rock that I choose not to carry. I’m gonna let somebody else manage that aspect of it,” Wager said.
The UIL also released guidelines this week that allow practices to resume on July 13 with a message that read, “UIL plans to begin fall competition seasons as scheduled on the UIL calendar.”
Wager said his staff will train players in small, socially distanced groups whether it’s in the weight room or on the field and that he will make sure everyone is tested for a fever before they are allowed to practice.
All of this will be done so that Friday night lights may shine even during the pandemic.
“It’s the largest community gathering that we have, and it doesn’t matter if where you go to church or what color you are, how old you are, you all root for one team and that’s a big part of our community. It’s our community’s greatest resource. And so from that standpoint, alone, I think sports is extremely important to our society right now,” Wager said.