High School Athletics

Precautions for coronavirus have Katy ISD athletics in wait-and-see phase

By DENNIS SILVA II, Times Sports Editor
Posted 3/14/20

Katy ISD athletic director Debbie Decker and her staff are establishing plans for how to proceed when, and if, the district and University Interscholastic League lift suspensions of athletic competition due to precaution for coronavirus.

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High School Athletics

Precautions for coronavirus have Katy ISD athletics in wait-and-see phase

Posted

Katy ISD athletic director Debbie Decker and her staff have been establishing plans for how to proceed when, and if, the district and University Interscholastic League lift suspensions of athletic competition due to precautions for coronavirus.

Parameters are being set for Katy ISD coaches so that, when and if they are given the go-ahead, they can pick right back up and figure things out with their respective sports seasons.

Just four days after it postponed its return from spring break by one week to March 22, Katy ISD announced on March 16 it was adding on another two weeks. The district will not open until April 13 at the earliest.

That same Monday, the UIL, which had suspended all athletic competition from March 16-29 three days earlier, suspended practices and workouts through March 29, which means all athletic facilities will be closed until further notice.

“We are urging our member schools and their communities to stay vigilant and take every possible precaution to remain safe and healthy,” UIL Executive Director Dr. Charles Breithaupt said in a news release. “We understand there is a lot of uncertainty during this unprecedented time. Please know UIL leadership is working diligently to adjust to this rapidly evolving situation and will share updates as soon as possible.”

Decker said the athletic department is taking guidance from district superintendent Ken Gregorski and his assistants, as well as the district’s emergency management department.

“They’re the ones having the daily conversations with the health department and with the county,” Decker said. “Any direction we’re given, we’re like any other (district) department, as far as waiting for word on direction of this. It is a fluid situation.

“Over the course of (this) week, there will be a couple of meetings taking place with specific personnel to see what the district is going to do and what direction the state and the county officials are giving the school districts.”

Decker said patience is necessary.

“When you look back and you’ve gone through something like Hurricane Harvey, which had total devastation and thousands of people out of their homes … right now, we all have our homes and we’re basically trying to stay healthy and keep ourselves patient,” she said. “This is a very serious disease and a very serious virus, but at the same time, at the end of the day, when you look at what this community has been through, this is one of those things we will exercise caution and patience for the safety of our students and our staff.”

Decker said the experience of going through the tragedy of Hurricane Harvey in 2017 helps keep things in perspective.

“Right now, we’re on the preventative side of this, whereas with Hurricane Harvey, when it came through, we were on the recovery side,” Decker said. “You understand why the president, why Governor (Greg) Abbott, why the county officials and school districts are doing what they’re doing to help stop the spread of this. Having that forward thinking and being able to do that on the front end, instead of trying to come up with things on the back end.”

In regard to whether she thinks there is a possibility the UIL could cancel its spring sports season, Decker said there’s no reason to plan for a ‘what if.’

“Because of this being a fluid situation, we could ‘what if’ so many things,” she said. “Right now, the direction we have is that if all goes as planned, we may be able to resume right at the end of March, first of April. That’s what we’re working towards right now. There’s no reason for us to put down 25 what-ifs and try and come up with plans for that. The direction we have from them (the UIL) and the school district right now is we’re looking at the end of March, start of April.

“Those are the plans right now, and if at any time that changes, then obviously we’ll also make some changes.”

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