HOUSTON - Fort Bend ISD is the first school district in Houston to officially push back the start of the 2020-2021 athletic calendar.
During a board meeting on Monday night, Fort Bend ISD announced that the 2020-21 school year will begin 100 percent online "in order to give students, parents and staff an opportunity to adjust to online learning and safety procedures."
One of the caveats to that order was that there would be "No in-person extracurriculars will occur during this period of distance learning".
This means the athletics season for Fort Bend ISD will have to wait.
Fort Bend ISD will begin the 2020-21 School Year 100% online in order to give students, parents and staff an opportunity to adjust to online learning and safety procedures. No in-person extracurriculars will occur during this period of distance learning.
— Fort Bend ISD (@FortBendISD) July 14, 2020
According to the FBISD 2020-2021 calendar, the fall semester is supposed to begin August 12, which will now be 100 percent online.
Fort Bend ISD includes 11 high schools (FB Austin, Bush, Clements, Dulles, Elkins, Hightower, Kempner, Marshall, Ridge Point, Travis and Willowridge), making it the third largest school district in Houston behind Houston ISD and Cy-Fair ISD.
Volleyball was slated to start tryouts August 3, first scrimmages August 7 and first matches on August 10. Football would have started practice August 3 and games starting August 27 at the earliest.
On the football field, there were some notable non-district football games slated for the opening three weeks. Travis was set to open the season against Spring on August 28 on the road and Hightower was set to play Westfield and Ridge Point was set to travel to Dickinson in Week 2, on September 4.
Among the 11 schools includes volleyball-power Ridge Point and football-power Fort Bend Marshall.
Ridge Point volleyball headed into the 2020 season coming off back-to-back appearances at the UIL State Volleyball Tournament in Garland, while Fort Bend Marshall football has played in back-to-back Class 5A Division II State Championship games.
Fort Bend ISD was originally planning to make a return to Strength and Conditioning Camps this week to continue preparing for the start of the season.
Houston-area school districts have been releasing their plans to return to school for the fall but Fort Bend ISD is the first to state that they will be 100 percent online and no extracurricular activities to begin.
The UIL last week released guidelines that stated students who elected to learn online were eligible for athletics barring they met the normal eligibility standards. But they also did leave that open to the districts to make local decisions that best-fit their situation. In an email to coaches last Wednesday, the UIL did state it "plans to begin fall competition seasons as scheduled on the UIL calendar."
Other school districts may, but Fort Bend ISD will not be a part of that opening group.
Fort Bend ISD coaches were not available for comment at the time of this story. VYPE has reached out to the FBISD Athletics Department and will continue to update this story as we obtain more information.
HOUSTON - We knew some changes were coming.
With Shadow Creek, Willis and Tomball moving up to Class 6A and Fulshear shifting from Class 4A to Class 5A there was going to be some movement. So, how does the new-look 5A in the Houston-area for football teams?
Well, here we go.
Starting with Class 5A Division I. There are three Houston-area districts in this mix.
District 8-5A-DI includes Cleveland, College Station, Caney Creek, Lufkin, Magnolia, Magnolia West, New Caney, Porter and Waller. Lufkin moves from its East Texas district and is pulled into the Houston area. This is going to be a competitive district. In football, New Caney has been a power the past few years, we will see how they do under a new head coach in 2020.
That district is in Region II as well, meaning come playoff time they will be traveling a lot.
In Region III, District 9-5A-DI sees all of the Goose Creek CISD schools - Goose Creek Memorial, Baytown Lee and Baytown Sterling - get put together, which is nice for that district. Other teams involved will be Beaumont United, which moves down from 6A, Friendswood, Galveston Ball, La Porte and Port Arthur Memorial.
The final Houston-area district in 5A-DI is District 10-5A. Manvel and Foster headline this district when it comes to football. Both teams have been powers the past few years and should continue that trend in 2020. Angleton is another team to watch in the district along with Fort Bend Hightower, Fort Bend Kempner, Rosenberg Terry, Milby, Wisdom and Katy Paetow.
Moving down to Class 5A Division II.
Three Houston-area district grace this classification but all of them are in Region III. The most spread out one is a tie between District 10 and District 12.
In District 10-5A-DII, the stretch of that goes from A&M Consolidated, Bryan Rudder and Huntsville down to Fulshear, which is south of Houston. Fulshear moves from 4A to 5A in this realignment. In that district, Montgomery, Lake Creek and Lamar Consolidated will also grace the district.
In District 12-5A-DII, the outlier is Kingwood Park, which will have to travel as far as Nederland and Port Neches-Groves for contests over the next two years. In that district as well includes Crosby, Dayton, Barbers Hill, Santa Fe and Texas City.
Finally, in District 11-5A-DII, Fort Bend Marshall, which has made back-to-back state title game appearances in football will be paired with Willowridge, Galena Park and Houston ISD schools Austin, Madison, Northside, Sharpstown, Sterling and Waltrip.
Most Interesting District: I have to go with 10-5A DI, with Manvel and Foster together and you add in Angleton, that makes that very interesting. In football you could see some nice battles between Manvel and Foster, just like we saw with Foster and Fort Bend Marshall.
Winners: Beaumont United. This is a good move for Beaumont United, which has excelled in a lot of other sports since opening and could use this boost for football. Geographically, the travel is not bad for the Timberwolves. The best matchup for them in district play could be Port Arthur Memorial on the football field and definitely the track in the spring.
Losers: Katy Paetow could struggle at first, moving up into a district with Foster and Manvel. That's some tough sledding to get a playoff spot in that district. I think if they could have stayed DII for two more years that would have helped the Panthers as they are still trying to establish themselves.
District Games to Watch: Manvel vs Foster; Beaumont United vs Port Arthur Memorial; New Caney vs Lufkin; Port Neches-Groves vs Nederland