When the University Interscholastic League released an update Tuesday on revisions that will be made to the COVID-19 Strength and Conditioning and Sport Specific Instruction, it gave high school athletics an idea of what to expect when they return to the practice field next week.
Executive Order GA-29 was issued, which allows for student-athletes access to locker room and also to engage in drills that involve one or more students on offense against one or more students on defense, starting Monday.
However, in a continued effort to protect the wellbeing of the players and coaching staff, Lake Dallas ISD athletics, in a press release that was posted to the school’s football Twitter account on Thursday, will continue with previous safety protocols in place. Access to locker rooms is off limits and sport-specific drills involving one more students on offense and one more students on defense will not be allowed.
Lake Dallas head football coach Michael Young attributed the decision to having two weeks away from the team facility due to the temporary suspension of in-person workouts due to the spike in number of positive coronavirus cases in Texas, as well as the necessity for his Falcons to adjust to the hot weather. Temperatures were in the low-to-mid 90s when the Falcons temporarily suspended team workouts prior to the Fourth of July holiday. The forecast next week calls for highs in the low-to-mid 100s.
“It’s not that big of a deal to have to do right now,” he said. “We’re just trying to keep our hands off of each other, keep our distance right now. There is not a lot of football stuff to get in right now. There is not a lot of stuff we can do without pads.”
The UIL, in that same executive order, said that all student-athletes ages 10 or older, as well as all employees, parents and visitors at a workout site must wear face coverings upon entry, except for those who are actively practicing or exercising.
With the start of fall practice on Aug. 3, Lake Dallas will have three weeks to not only get back into the physical shape they were prior to the stoppage, but also to review all of the offensive and defensive plays they had previously worked on.
Also, the Falcons will be allowed additional time on the practice field, as the UIL announced that the previously allotted period of no activity on July 20-21 has been rescinded. This decision comes in conjunction with the 2020 Texas High School Coaches Association Convention and Coaching School forced to be moved from in person to 100% virtual due to the current pandemic.
“We’ve got a few weeks before fall practice to get getting going and to get back into shape,” Young said. “There is not a lot more to get in. We will go back and review stuff did in the previous weeks with the two weeks that we had off. We want to get into a spot where we feel good going into the first week of practice.”