GAME OVER: UIL cancels remainder of 2019-20 season

After holding out hope of possibly resuming activities later this spring, UIL officials Friday officially ran out the clock on the 2019-20 season.

In an effort to promote the health and safety of students, staff and parents, the University Interscholastic League (UIL), which oversees high school athletic, academic and music competition in Texas, canceled all of its spring activities for the remainder of the school year, according to a press release. The announcement came several hours after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced all public and private schools will remain shuttered for the rest of the school year.

Charles Breithaupt, UIL executive director, said in a statement that interscholastic activity “cannot continue” without school being in session. The UIL had been working on possibly resuming activities this spring, Breithaupt said.

“Our highest priority during this challenging time is ensuring the health and safety of our students and communities and making progress in the containment of COVID-19 in Texas,” Breithaupt said. “We are now turning our attention to the 2020-21 school year.”

The UIL’s cancellation comes roughly a month after it suspended play due to the outbreak of COVID-19, which has so far infected more than 17,000 Texans and has led to close to 500 deaths in the state.

Many area coaches and players took to social media this week to honor their programs and celebrate a season
that ended far too soon.

Dripping Springs Lady Tiger basketball head coach Bailee Perrine lauded the efforts of her program, especially the team’s seven seniors, in a post on Twitter. Dripping Springs had finished the 2019-20 regular season with a 21-1 record and was preparing for the bi-district round of the playoffs, and possibly a second straight run to state,
when play was suspended March 13.

“These ladies are some of the most amazing girls I have had the privilege to coach,” Perinne wrote. “I wish we got one more run at it together. I know y’all would have carried us far.”

The news hit especially hard for the countless number of senior athletes whose final season on the high school playing field was cut short. Lehman High senior Lexi Bechtel via Twitter celebrated the Lobo softball program and her teammates on what could have been a successful 2020 campaign.

Lehman’s softball team opened play in 25-6A with a 3-0 mark before the cancellation.

“To the program that shaped me into the leader I am today and pushed me past my limits, you will be missed,” Bechtel wrote.

Hays Rebel head baseball coach James Howard said he was “absolutely heartbroken” for his team’s senior class. Hays CISD baseball teams had played only five combined district games before the season came to a
close in mid-March.

“Thank you for everything you have done for our program,” Howard wrote to his seniors on Twitter. “Best wishes in all your future endeavors. We love you.”

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