East Texas high school drill teams prepare for season under UIL guidelines

East Texas high school drill teams prepare for season under UIL guidelines

NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - East Texas high school drill teams are preparing for the season under UIL guidelines released Monday.

KTRE’s T’Ebonie Tanner spoke with two directors about their plans to keep school spirit stronger than ever.

Lufkin High School's Panther Pride drill team Director Johnna Walker says her team is ready to start practicing, even with restrictions.

“We are going to follow all guidelines and protocols that our school districts set forth, in order to ensure our student’s safety,” said Walker. “Because when we don’t have positive cases, that means we get to perform, and we get to do all this stuff.”

In order to stay within UIL guidelines, practice for them will require masks, frequent hand sanitizing, and social distancing.

“They will have an online digital form that they will fill out, stating that they have not had a fever and they have not been around anyone with COVID, that they know of,” said Walker. “Obviously, we won’t do a high kick where we hook together, because we’ll be touching each other. We will dance spread apart. We will have yard lines that are just a little bit farther spaced than we are used to.”

At Nacogdoches High School, drill team Director Lisa Fuller says implementing these changes is necessary and their team will be ready to adjust.

“Some other things like the poms and any props that we use will be individually assigned. They will have to bring them themselves to the game, instead of just opening up a box and picking out the items,” said Fuller. “We are also looking at travel, as in were we going to be able to travel with the whole team, will we allow parents to take their child to and from the game, instead of just from the game? And if we can’t travel with everybody, we will rotate groups of the team for the away game performances.”

Fuller says students must attend classes daily to be part of the team.

“Of course, everything is completely optional. If a parent is uncomfortable sending their kid, then they can learn the routines online. Now, in order to perform they would then have to come to class and practice once school starts. Even if they choose online for school, they will have to be in class to actually perform.”

Both drill teams will hold camp next week, beginning August 3rd.

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