Districts Across El Paso Decide to Pause High School Athletics Per Local Recommendations from Heath Officials
Following a recommendation from El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego to suspend athletics for two weeks due to the local health crisis, school districts across the city decided to pause sporting activities on Monday.
El Paso Independent School suspended the athletics season through Nov. 8, as first noted by Jefferson varsity football coach Tony Martinez.
"We understand that sports and extracurricular activities are an important part of the student experience but it has become abundantly clear that the health and safety of our community are at stake at this moment," said Superintendent Juan Cabrera in a release. "We will continue to work with health officials and the University Interscholastic League to determine what steps to take, if any, for the continuation and conclusion of the athletic and performing seasons."
Socorro ISD soon followed by announcing that they will pause high school athletics and fine arts program per Samaniego's recommendations. "All practices/activities are canceled. Information regarding upcoming competitions/potential return dates will be forthcoming," wrote Athletic Director JJ Calderon on Twitter.
Canutillo ISD made a similar decision, pausing all athletic activities on Monday.
Ysleta ISD hasn't announced plans for athletics yet.
There are a handful of districts that say they will remain in action as of now. Fabens ISD will continue sports at the high school level, as reported by Felix Chavez of the El Paso Times. Tornillo, who faces Crane in football on Friday, will also continue athletics according to Chavez. There is even a makeup game scheduled on Monday between San Elizario and Fabens. Clint ISD will move forward with athletics too, per KTSM's Colin Deaver.
Samaniego made the recommendation to suspend all high school activities on Sunday following the news of the hospitals being at 100% capacity due to the COVID-19 outbreak in El Paso. The city reported 1,443 new cases totaling to 12,470 active cases on Monday.
In addition, Samaniego instructed a mandated curfew of 10 PM - 5 AM to all non-essential workers in the city. In regards to his recommendation for high school athletics, Samaniego said “If things get worse, we don't want the possibility of not allowing sports because our numbers get to such a point."
As the high school sports season is in limbo, more news is expected to surface over the coming weeks on reschedulings and resumption of activities. Schedulings will get messy with the conclusion of the season approaching in November. For Class 6A/5A football, the state playoffs don't kick off until January, giving them the most time available. Most districts continue to push back in-person learning as virtual schooling continues to be the norm for many students across El Paso.