LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) - It should come as no surprise that the University Interscholastic League is pushing back the start date of competitions.
The UIL had previously stated that competitions, at the earliest, would start on May 4. The UIL released a statement Friday indicating that is no longer the case but did not give any updated date as they continue to monitor the situation with COVID-19.
The UIL Medical Advisory Committee is set to meet on Sunday to discuss the impact of the virus on the organization.
The Diboll Lady Jacks were 19-0-3 before the season came to a standstill. Head Coach Hayland Hardy has a lung disease and his immune system is compromised. He understands why the UIL is doing what they are doing with delaying the games but also knows his team wants their chance to go deep in the playoffs.
“My wife and girls are making me stay at home,” Hardy said. “I can’t sit still. I have a garden. it is right behind me here. I just remembered how much work the garden is so I am enjoying myself in that. I miss softball. I miss my girls and the interaction with them. I know it is hard on them. I have had a lot of disappointments in my life and this one was hard. I know it is hard on them.”
Hardy knows there is a danger for him to be around others but is optimistic he will be with his team when the games resume.
“My wife and kids have been talking about that to me,” Hardy said. “I am very smart at how I do things. i can take precautions. If we come back and get to play I will be on the field with the girls.”
To help pass the time and give others encouragement, Hardy is also doing Facebook live videos in the morning to give inspiration.
“Times are tough,” Hardy said. “Everybody needs encouragement right now because this is something that’s uncharted for all of us and it is hard to stay positive. I try to give a word of wisdom because I have been through a lot of trials and hard times. In everyone of them I have come out on top.”
Below is the official release from the UIL.
AUSTIN — In accordance with the Executive Order issued by Governor Greg Abbott mandating schools remain temporarily closed through Monday, May 4, 2020 due to COVID-19 (Coronavirus), the University Interscholastic League (UIL) is further modifying contingency plans and extending its previously announced timeline for completing UIL activities this academic school year.
These modifications are based on schools resuming operations on Monday, May 4, 2020. As that date approaches, UIL will monitor all available information and provide member schools with more specific guidance on district and post-season date adjustments related to this new extension.
All in-person practices, rehearsals and workouts remain suspended until further notice and remote instruction remains in place. UIL remains committed to providing a reasonable acclimatization period for rehearsals and practices to occur prior to resuming contests and games. All decisions remain flexible and will be consistent with the advice of local, state and federal officials.
The UIL will continue to provide timely, ongoing updates and is reassessing this ever-changing situation daily. Please continue to check the UIL website and social media accounts for further updates.