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Texas to cancel high school football due to COVID-19 pandemic?

High school football in Texas
© Amy McDaniel / San Angelo Standard-Times via Imagn Content Services, LLC

There is nothing people love in Texas more than high school football. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there might not be any games on Friday nights this season.

Texas to suspend high school football this year?

The COVID-19 pandemic has wiped out sports since the virus first spread across the United States in March. With football season right around the corner and the health crisis getting worse, Texas could now be in danger of losing football.

During a meeting with reporters on Thursday, Dallas Independent School District’s superintendent Michael Hinojosa told MSNBC’s Garrett Haake that there likely won’t be high school football in Texas this year.

While football itself is wildly popular across the country, high school football is the heart and soul of Texas. Between the sold-out crowds in massive stadiums and the incredible support from communities, it is the lifeblood for many areas in the state.

A decision to cancel the entire high school football season would carry devastating impact for thousands of student-athletes and could be crushing for countless high schools. It would also deliver a major blow for the collegiate level, greatly impacting recruiting.

Among the top-100 football recruits in the 2021 recruiting cycle, via 247 Sports, 14 are from Texas, including seven of the top-50 overall players.

While nothing is final, a recent survey of Texas high school football coaches highlighted the reality the state was facing. In the poll conducted by TexasFootball, a majority of coaches expected the season to be delayed and several don’t believe the 2020 season would be finished.

COVID-19 cases in Texas

Unfortunately, the decision isn’t shocking given the recent spikes in COVID-19 cases across the United States. Texas has been one of the states, along with Florida and California, hit the hardest by the rapid spread of the coronavirus.

The state reported its deadliest day during the COVID-19 pandemic on Wednesday, according to NBCDFW.com, with 98 deaths tied to the coronavirus. Texas has now lost nearly 3,000 lives to the virus, with numbers continuing to rise.

Texas also announced it recorded more than 10,000 new cases of the coronavirus on Tuesday, per NPR. On Wednesday, the state recorded an additional 9,979 new cases.

Now with more than 225,000 people testing positive for COVID-19, many cities are considering a second shutdown. Given the increased risk of the virus spreading in a contact sport with players and fans in close proximity, Texas now seems prepared to shut down high school football this year.