By Gaige Davila
Winter sports are on the way for the Tarpons.
Starting on Nov. 30, PI-ISD’s basketball, powerlifting, track and soccer seasons will start. Just as the Tarpons’ fall sports, the seasons will be abbreviated, if they happen at all.
According to PI-ISD Athletic Director and Head Football Coach Tony Villarreal, mock workouts for winter sports and a code of conduct are being developed now. The plan, Villarreal said during a PI-ISD school board meeting, is having coaches create workouts, practices and game plans that will ensure social distancing and little possibility of COVID-19 transmission, then present them to the district’s Safety Task Force.
“If the Safety Task Force says it’s not up to standards, then the coach has to re-present,” Villarreal said. “It’s got to be the highest level of safety.”
Though the University Interscholastic League (UIL) allows for 5 non-conference games total to be played, the girls and boys basketball teams may play only a scrimmage and a non-conference game, if PI-ISD’s basketball coaches choose to. Then the two week holiday break will allow a quarantine period for the players.
“We chose not to (play 5 games) because it exposes our young men and women (to COVID-19),” Villarreal said. “We want our young men and women to play and finish the season.”
Regulations regarding indoor sports like powerlifting and basketball will be more stringent, Villarreal said, such as allowing only 10 or 12 people at a time in the gym or weight room. That concern extends to students playing basketball outside of the district.
“We really don’t want a lot of our kids playing travel ball during the Christmas holidays,” Villarreal said. “We’re trying to take our kids so they can play in Port Isabel. If they go and travel to Houston and San Antonio and bring it back, we get wiped out.”
Regarding the schedules, things could change at any time, Villarreal said, referring to the Tarpons’ football schedule and how it changed eight times. For example, in the fall, Tarpons’ cross country ran two meets, football played one game, and volleyball played four games.
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