DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – There are no official Friday Night Lights this fall for the 17 private schools in the Southwest Preparatory Conference.
For St. Mark’s School of Texas linebacker Abe Echt, the news was a devastating blow to a much-anticipated senior year.
“It was both shock and disappointment that it would all in a moment be taken away from us,” he said.
It’s a feeling freshman Joseph Day shared – his first opportunity to play high school football now sidelined.
“I was looking forward to working together with the whole team to become one unit, and I was working pretty hard this summer training, getting ready for football,” he said.
It’s not just football that’s cancelled. Field hockey, cross country, and volleyball are also off for the conference that spans four major cities, including Dallas and Houston.
“We understand the disappointment,” said SPC Commissioner Bob Windham. “The disappointment is universal, from the students, parents, coaches, and the administrators.”
According to Commissioner Windham, geography factored into the decision.
“We’ve got schools that are spread out over a couple of states, so when we do travel, it’s very, very significant travel,” he said.
Another challenge? The SPC holds a 3-day championship in a central location. While there will be no crowned champions this fall, Windham said schools can opt for independent schedules. Echt and Day said that’s their only hope.
“You can only pray,” said Echt. “We want to play. We really do want to play.”
The SPC approved winter and spring sports to continue as planned but said they could make adjustments to those schedules at a later time.