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Coaches start into season plans following UIL release

“Right now, we are excited as we can be because we actually get to play,” said Dublin ISD Athletic Director and Head Football Coach Bob Cervetto to a classroom full of his coaching staff as they reviewed expectations of the school district and the amended guidelines and calendar announced by The University Interscholastic League Tuesday.

These guidelines allow Dublin ISD football and volleyball teams to start practicing on Aug. 3. Volleyball can start play on Aug. 10 while the Dublin Lions can officially hit the field again on Aug. 27.

One of the expectations Cervetto announced for his coaches is to be positive in all things. Cervetto said he practiced this himself with the firm belief that his staff and players would get to hit the fields and courts this year but he admitted growing impatient while waiting for guidance from the state.

This included an early return to strength and conditioning and individual skills training in the second week of June, which continues through this month. (Strength and conditioning will be held from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. through Friday this week and from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. Monday through July 31. Skills training will also be held from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. today and tomorrow.)

“I feel like I’ve been rebirthed,” Cervetto said. “We’re going to be alright!”

Dublin Superintendent Rodney Schneider also addressed the room, saying that he believed in all of the coaching staff, characterizing them as people of great character. 

Schneider said in leading the district’s athletes, they’re helping to ‘build good men and women’ for the future.’

“Success on the field will follow into everyday life,” he said.

Athletic staff around the state were eagerly anticipating UIL’s announcement but were unsure of when it would come. The surprise drop Tuesday mean that the DISD Athletic Department was immediately meeting to start planning training and seasons that will adhere to the new calendar and guidelines laid out. 

Schneider said that decisions made in the COVID pandemic have to be seriously considered and carried through with dedication.

“Our decision to go forward with the Aug. 3 opening is kind of an athletic attitude,” Schneider said while reporting that the decision was not made lightly. 

Now that it’s made he trusts in his staff “strap in” and get ready for the season.  

“Let’s go,” he said.

Cervetto reminds his players that all athletes Dublin ISD athletes entering the 7th, 9th and 11th grades are required to get their physicals prior to the first day of school on Aug. 3.

Dublin Family Medicine (through Comanche County Medical Clinic) and Cross Timbers Orthopaedics are offering free physical exams with appointments.

Dublin Family Medicine can be contacted at (254) 445-4900 while CTO can be reached at (254) 918- 0126.

All athletes must also turn in their medical history to the Secondary campus by Friday. Forms can be picked up at the school.

The UIL statement released on Tuesday read as follows:

UIL is presenting modifications to the 2020-2021 UIL calendar and updated COVID-19 risk mitigation guidelines, set to take effect August 1, 2020.

The modifications to the 2020-2021 calendar differ by activity and conference and can be found on the UIL website and in the chart included.

These adjustments reflect the public health situation at this time and the varying numbers of COVID-19 cases across different geographic areas of the state. This plan provides a delay for schools in highly-populated metro areas, primarily conferences 5A-6A, given the challenges with COVID-19 those communities are facing, while providing schools in other areas, primarily 1A-4A, an opportunity to start seasons on schedule. Acknowledging the situation is not always clear-cut and that COVID-19 affects every community differently, the plan also allows for local flexibility and encourages districts to plan for possible interruptions in order to complete district seasons.

Additionally, the COVID-19 risk mitigation guidelines for the 2020-2021 school year can be found at this link. This includes guidance around face coverings, general operations and protocol for individuals confirmed or exposed to COVID-19, congregate settings (band halls, locker rooms, etc.), practice and rehearsal activities, spectators and media, and concession stands and food service.

These guidelines are in addition to guidance issued by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) and intended to be implemented along with TEA guidance, which applies to UIL academic activities and extracurricular non-UIL activities.

With the understanding that not all schools will be able to start at the same time, this plan allows for schools to make playing decisions at the local level, and the UIL will work directly with schools that have scheduling issues not addressed in this plan to allow them flexibility to complete as many contests as possible.

“Our goal in releasing this plan is to provide a path forward for Texas students and schools,” said UIL Executive Director Dr. Charles Breithaupt. “While understanding situations change and there will likely be interruptions that will require flexibility and patience, we are hopeful this plan allows students to participate in the education-based activities they love in a way that prioritizes safety and mitigates risk of COVID-19 spread.”

UIL will continue to work with state officials and monitor CDC and other federal guidance to determine any potential modifications that may become necessary.

Dublin Citizen

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