As the COVID-19 Pandemic continues to throw challenges at our local sports teams, Texas High's Gerry Stanford says he's doing the same thing as every other coach in the Lone Star State, waiting.
"In Texas, it starts with our TEA, Texas Education Agency. Once they release their safety protocols as to what it's going to look like to go back to school, they UIL can come in and release their plan as to what athletics is going to look like. Until TEA releases their information, the UIL really can't come in and say anything about fall sports."
Over the past few weeks, Stanford and the Tigers have been gathering for summer workouts and doing their best to keep the kids and coaches safe.
"We haven't had any incidents where we've had to shut down. When kids have been gone for an extended period of time, maybe a relative had developed symptoms, so that kid for 14 days didn't come back. That didn't effect the majority, it just effected that kid and that family. We've been really fortunate. Our coaches have done a tremendous job of disinfecting and cleaning. It's not to say that we have a perfect system, I think it's by chance that we haven't been effected at this point."
The next challenge for Stanford comes in the form of a break. The Tigers normal two week hiatus from summer workouts includes 4th of July weekend and Stanford is asking his athletes to do their part to improve the chances of seeing sports this fall.
"We've all got to sacrifice something right here. For some people, it's the simplicity of sacrificing a mask, if that's what they're being asked to do. It may be, so to speak, we go back into a shelter in place situation. If that's the case, we've told our kids we're all being asked to sacrifice just as we are during the season. Whether that be time, effort, energy, let's just abide by those same protocols we've been given throughout this."
But fear of the unknown is unavoidable, providing Stanford with his toughest challenge of all, helping his athletes tackle the possibility of losing a season.
"Those are real questions. There's a lot at stake when you hit August and not just football. You're talking about a litany of sports that's going to set the precedent for the rest of the school year. Unprecedented times come with unprecedented answers. We don't know what's going to happen, but what we do know is we can never take for granted the time that we do have. Right now, we have to opportunity to work out, so let's make the most of what we do have."