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Hawk, Lady Hawk fall sports to kick off August 3

Thursday, July 23, 2020
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Fall sports is a go for Iowa Park, but larger schools across the state will have to wait another month before starting their seasons, according to new guidelines released Tuesday by the University Interscholastic League (UIL).

Because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the UIL created two separate calendars based on school size for resuming football, volleyball, tennis, and cross country.

Conference 1A through 4A can begin fall two-a-days on Aug. 3, with the first football games being played Aug. 27. State championship games for 1A through 4A will be played on two separate days.

Volleyball will kick off Aug. 3, with the first day for matches Aug. 10. According to the new guidelines, tournaments have been eliminated, and replaced with possible dual matches during the week. Lady Hawk Coach Brittany Cray along with other coaches across the state are scrambling to rework their season calendars. State championship games will be held Nov. 18-21.

Conference 5A and 6A programs will start their acclimation periods on Sept. 7, with the first football games being played Sept. 24. State championship games will be held at a to-be-determined date in January.


Marching bands across the state will now have to wait until Sept. 7 for the first day to begin contest show visual/marching curriculum.

The region marching contest, normally held in October, has been moved to Dec. 3, with area contest Dec. 10. State championships will be held sometime in December (to be determined).


Asked if Iowa Park had dodged a bullet from the UIL’s lastest guidelines, Iowa Park Athletic Director Aubrey Sims replied “I’m especially happy for the seniors. With the way baseball and softball ended last year, for these guys to be able to get out there and play football and volleyball is great.

“There are a going to be a lot of restrictions, but it is better than nothing.”

Sims noted that even some Class 4A programs in metropolitan areas are being impacted by the pandemic. “I talked to my buddy at Kennedale. And they are not allowing them to start until September.

“Luckily, where we are living ... I think it is why the smaller schools ... they are not having the issues and problems that inner-city Houston and Dallas and those guys are experiencing. I do appreciate them (UIL) recognizing that and separating it.”

Sims said Iowa Park’s football calendar won’t be impacted by the calendar change. “Luckily for us, we have Wichita Falls (5A) scheduled, but that’s our fifth game, and it’s their first game. So we kinda dodged a bullet there. I’m not scrambling looking for games. A lot of people I talked to today are looking for games.”


Students and school personnel involved in both sports and band will be following UIL guidelines regarding risk mitigation to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Those attending football and volleyball events will also be required to follow UIL guidelines. Stadiums cannot exceed 50-percent capacity. Masks will be required, as will social distancing.

Sims is already familiar with the potential for athletes affected by the virus. Two athletes over the summer have tested postive, as has one parent of an athlete.

“I’ve learned a lot,” he said. “I’ve been talking to a parent that has it. Just talking to her about her situation, and actually talking to a case worker and getting to ask her questions, it really opened my eyes to what we are dealing with.

“We are going to have that (positive cases). We have 2,000 kids in our school district. We are going to have a kid or a parent that gets sick, so we are constantly going to be dealing with that in the administration building and up front in the office.”


Sims said that the UIL is allowing live broadcasts of high school sports this fall, a departure from past years. He is working to acquire the right equipment and the right platform to show Hawk and Lady Hawk games and matches this fall.