The fourth weekend of the Texas high school football season brings more lower classification football, more excitement from the fans, the continued anticipation of the planned beginning of the 5A and 6A seasons next week…and at least another week of statewide nail-biting. It’s for sure that the spikes and hot spots surrounding the Covid-19 coronavirus have those who love football on edge these days, hoping there will be a continuation of the game and not the dreaded shutdown of the sport some are predicting. And while there have been interruptions–the most recent being the cancellation of next week’s season opener for the defending 6A Division II State Champion Westlake Chaparrals after a Covid outbreak at opposing Highland Park prohibited a matchup of two of the state’s most storied programs–the vast majority of the schools in 6A and 5A continue to prepare for their season openers next week, while the lower classifications are continuing regular season play.
The long-awaited start of the season for the state’s two highest classifications seems interminably long when considering the danger that is still out there from the virus. 6A and 5A programs have had spring practices canceled, off-season workouts in June stopped, restarted in July, stopped again, restarted with full team workouts in August, then the start of the season itself delayed by the UIL’s plan to allow the major metropolitan area school districts a chance to recover and prepare before opening their seasons no earlier than next Thursday, the 24th. That’s the best that can be expected, and if that is indeed the case, those who love the game that is contested on its largest campuses in its largest stadiums with its largest attendances and media coverage will again rejoice–and we’ll all feel just a little bit closer to normal.
In the meantime, if you haven’t done so already, I would suggest that you give the game from the small towns a look. The enthusiasm for the game is as robust in a 2A Division II contest as it is at the 6A Division I level. The same holds true for the 1A Division I and 1A Division II levels–Six-Man football. It is real football, and at times real exciting football, and worthy of a look if you have a chance. It’s nice to have most of high school football back in 2020. We’ll all look forward to having all of the high school football in the Lone Star State back next week–after we hold our breath and cross our fingers for one more week.