HOUSTON - When the news broke that back-to-back Class 6A Division I State Champion North Shore would play California-power De La Salle in the opening week of the 2020 season, people got excited.
It was Texas vs California. It was two National Powers going head-to-head, which would be televised on the ESPN network.
The mega-showdown of programs that have won a combined 10 state championships - 6 for De La Salle and 4 for North Shore - would be a part of a double-header at Galena Park ISD Stadium to also include defending Class 5A Division I State Champion Shadow Creek against Pennsylvania-power St. Joseph's on Saturday, August 29.
As of now, North Shore coach Jon Kay confirmed to VYPE that the showdown between his team and De La Salle "is still on".
"We are watching what's happening in California pretty closely," Kay said via text.
In California, Los Angeles County will most likely extend their stay-at-home orders for the next three months, according to the Los Angeles Times. De La Salle is located in Constra Costa County, where, according to the county's April 29 update, their shelter-in-place order has been extended until the end of May.
De La Salle plays under the rules of the California Interscholastic League, which cancelled its spring sports season on April 3 - two weeks prior to Texas' governing body, the University Interscholastic League, did.
Having a team travel from California to Houston for a game in August does bring up some concerns as things stand now, Kay said but they are hoping as more time passes the picture will become clearer of when and if they can play that opening game.
"That certainly wouldn't be a good situation as things stand now but hopefully we will get some more concrete data as they summer progresses," Kay said. "We are in contact with ESPN and all four teams involved in the double header."
If De La Salle and St. Joseph's don't travel to Houston for the games, VYPE has confirmed that North Shore would face Shadow Creek at Galena Park ISD Stadium. As part of their original agreement, North Shore is set to travel to Freedom Field to face Shadow Creek in 2021.
HOUSTON - The UIL Legislative Council held a special meeting on Friday morning.
During the meeting, UIL Executive Director Dr. Charles Breithaupt gave an update on the current plans of the UIL as we push into the month of May and the summer.
"Even though we lost the spring seasons and the basketball tournament, we are hoping with all hope that we can resume sometime this summer with our offseason conditioning programs and non-school opportunities to work with students," Breithaupt said.
The UIL was diligent through the spring to keep updating plans as more information was available through the weeks until ultimately canceling the spring sports on April 17 for the remainder of the 2019-2020 athletic calendar.
As far as sports returning, Breithaupt said the UIL is working on plans for every scenario.
"We are both making plans for the regular start of school and our activities and then if there is a delayed start what we might do," he said. "We're also planning for what might happen if we start and have to stop again. If that does happen our staff is up to the task and I know that you'll work with us to help make these things happen.
"Our plans are focused on the 2020-2021 season."
Of course, the biggest question right now is if and when the Texas High School football season could start? When could practices begin?
"We're not going to start any practices in the summer until we see that the NFL, college football, NBA, MLB or any of the pro sports. None of those have resumed play," Breithaupt said. "I saw yesterday that Little League Baseball cancelled the Little League World Series. So, that tells you that across the world activities have been cancelled.
"We're not going to get ahead of the curve, we're going to make sure our students are safe, just as you are."
The UIL Legislative Council did vote on two action items on Friday morning, which were both passed.
The first resolution grants more authority to Breithaupt as the Executive Director of the UIL "to make adjustments to UIL rules as needed related to the COVID-19 crisis".
According to UIL Deputy Director Jamey Harrison the resolution is limited in three ways with an expiration date, limited to making adjustments due to COVID-19 and it states that the UIL staff will communicate with the Legislative Council when it is being utilized.
So, what changes could be made due to this resolution?
"Some examples include scheduling and start dates for specific sports," Harrison said. "We recognize that students have missed a lot of time with their band directors, coaches and academic sponsors. They've missed a lot of time in their activities. So, where we restrict access to kids and opportunities for our school staff to work with kids, I fully intend to relax those restrictions. Give them some opportunity to make up for this missed time, whenever it is that we can safely convene again and conduct workouts for example.
"I expect to see some significant alterations to coaching restrictions in the summer and in the fall as we move forward, allowing kids and coaches to make up for as much as this missed time as they have and as we can offer."
Currently, UIL rules state that during the summer, students can attend no more than one two-hour strength and conditioning program per day, Monday through Thursday, when school is out. Students are also limited to two hours per week of sport specific skill instruction, conducted by a school coach or coaches, with a one hour maximum in any one given day.
The second resolution passed concerned student physicals.
According to Harrison, the proposal stated a student who was cleared in a physical examination in the 2019-2020 school year can continue to participate this year, "unless there is some indication on a student's medical history form that would require further medical evaluation".
For students who haven't received a physical to be cleared for participation, Harrison said they will have to get one for the 2020-2021 athletic year.
The next UIL Legislative Council meeting is set for June 16.