The band begins to march their socially distanced drill. The band was spaced out twice as far as the normally are.
The band begins to march their socially distanced drill. The band was spaced out twice as far as the normally are.
Valerie Adams

Extracurricular Changes Due to COVID-19

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, schools have been moved online and competitions have been canceled. However, schools returning to in-person learning have required UIL and school districts to set guidelines to follow for the safety of their participants and athletes.

“I think for the most part, everyone is just glad to be back in school, around their friends and being productive again,” head band director Steven Moore said. “One thing to remember is that we do not realize what we had, or took it for granted, until it is gone and that is what spring and summer taught us.”

The athletics programs are constantly disinfecting surfaces used in practice, have their athletes wash their hands at every opportunity possible and athletes must bring their own water bottles. They also follow the 50% capacity rule and try to space out the fans as much as possible at games.

“The adverse conditions have actually given student athletes the opportunity to practice leadership by leading self led workouts as well as encouraging each one to do their part in practice and games in order to keep their teams safe,” athletic director Mike Maddox said. “The masks are inconvenient and at times uncomfortable, but have allowed each one to adjust without offering excuses to why they can or cannot do something.”

The theater department will only put on one production this semester instead of their usual three and have chosen to work with a small cast in order to reduce the risk of exposure. They also rehearse with masks on, wash their hands at any time possible, and social distance while backstage.

“[COVID-19] has not affected our morale at all,” theater director Kari McKenzie said. “The kids and Jarman and myself are all excited to get started with a new show.”

The band has taken precautions by wearing masks and washing their hands whenever possible. They only attend home games and have spaced their drill 6 feet apart.

“To some degree [it has affected students], I mean no pep rallies, no out of town games, all the safety protocols, it’s a lot to deal with,” Moore said. “However I do believe that everyone understands that in the long run, the goal is to get back to normal and to stay in school so we do what we have to do.”

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