Face masks for all

Football players won’t be the only ones covered

Texas+High+run+through

Photo by Abby Elliott

File Photo. The Texas High football team runs onto the field at the Tiger Stadium. The team’s season is in jeopardy of cancellation if fans choose not to wear masks.

Story by Braden McKinnon and Reese Langdon

High school football is no joke in Texas. We live off the excitement before the first game of the season when we are just a city with a dream. This is the unparalleled excitement before each season that is being threatened to be taken away.

Having, or not having, a football season affects more than just the players on the field. It affects the bubbly cheerleaders, the graceful color guard, the high kickin’ HighSteppers, the jaw-dropping band, the supportive alumni and the raving student section. The students who depend on the football season to showcase their talents hope spectators don’t ignore the University Interscholastic League’s COVID-19 regulations, which could jeopardize the continuation of football season. 

“It is really really important to me that there is a football season because I am a senior and this is my last chance,” senior drill team Lieutenant Evelyn Patterson said. 

In a letter to superintendents, UIL officials said, “For students to have the opportunity to continue to compete in UIL activities this school year, we must all remain diligent in following these guidelines. Schools not following these guidelines are subject to sanctions by the UIL District Executive Committee and/or UIL State Executive Committee.” 

UIL COVID-19 risk mitigation guidelines include wear masks. 

If you don’t want to wear the mask, you can stay home because that’s the place you don’t have to.”

— Ana Moreno

“I think it’s really disrespectful to everyone who isn’t following the rules,” Patterson said. “I just think it’s super rude. Anytime I see anyone posting anything with the mask off, I immediately lose a ton of respect for that person because they are only thinking of themselves.”

Members of the marching band know firsthand the effects of the coronavirus since they missed two weeks of practice because someone tested positive for the virus. 

“We had one person who tested positive, and it cancelled band for two weeks, so it’s pretty important to follow the guidelines,” sophomore Andrew Wommack said. “Band season is really important to a lot of people. It’s how we have our social groups. If it’s canceled, we miss out on a lot of time with our friends.”

Those seniors who are entering their final football season say being sanctioned or losing the season would be a hard pill to swallow. 

“Football season is very important just because it’s full of so many different adventures like crying and laughing,” senior color guard member Ana Moreno said. “[There are] so many different emotions going through all the football games?”

Moreno said those who don’t want to follow protocols should stay home.

“[When] you’re out in public, you know you have to [wear a mask,] and it’s something that we have to learn to live with for now because it’s not going away anytime soon,” Moreno said. “I think [those who don’t wear them] are being  very selfish, because they’re only thinking about themselves and how they don’t want to wear the mask.”

Being able to play can also have a direct impact on the recruiting process. 

“It’s really important because a lot of seniors don’t get recruited if they only get to play one year,” junior Brayson McHenry said. “So, this is a big year for all the juniors that are wanting to play in college.”

McHenry urges people to follow UIL’s rules and guidelines.

“I think that they should follow everything that [everyone is asked] to do so that we can play,” McHenry said. “Because, I mean, it would be dumb if they don’t and then the season gets canceled.”