With COVID-19 continuing to keep North Texas high schools scrambling with future plans, local high school football coaches are having to plan for a 2020 season they’re not sure will actually happen, while trying to embrace the time they do have with their students during summer workouts.
“The chance to come together and work as coaches and athletes as been a really big deal,” Arlington High School head football coach Scott Peach said. “When you spend three months on your own, it’s tough. So those relationships have been really important to us.”
Five North Texas high school football coaches joined NBC 5 on a Zoom roundtable discussion and touched on Dallas ISD Superintendent Michael Hinojosa's comments that he seriously doubts a fall football season can happen.
“I really believe the best-case scenario is to keep them with us,” Aledo High School head football coach Tim Buchanan said. “I just hate to see people already saying we can’t do it this fall. We don’t know. We could come up with a vaccine tomorrow.”
They also discussed the reasons a high school football season is so important – beyond just trying to win games on Friday nights.
“I know for my kids, a lot of their livelihood and continuing on to free education depends on a football season,” South Oak Cliff High School head football coach Jason Todd said. “A lot of kids, that’s their motivation to do better in school in the community I serve. I think it’s a big piece and we would be missing a lot if it’s taken away.”
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It's one reason most coaches said they were willing to get creative to make sure a football season happens.
“I tell our kids and parents that we’ll do whatever we need to do,” Flower Mound High School head football coach Brian Basil. “If that means playing in the spring, if that means delaying the start of the season, we’ll do whatever it takes.”
The coaches are motivated by the kids they’ve committed to coach.
“I’m thinking about the class of 2021, the seniors, having a chance to play through this year,” Lancaster High School head football coach Chris Gilbert said. “If you think about any group it affects, it’s that group more than any other group. You just want that group to be able to live out their senior year. They’ve been waiting on that forever.”