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Texas’ high school students are not only benched from school, but competing, rehearsing and working out.

On Friday, the University Interscholastic League initially suspended games until March 29 and practices were set on hold until Monday, March 23 due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Then on Monday the league announced that practices before or after school were off limits until that date also.

“To support the health and safety of our students and communities, the University Interscholastic League (UIL) is suspending all UIL sanctioned contests, rehearsals, practices and workouts due to the outbreak of COVID-19 (coronavirus) in Texas,” the league said on its website. “Effective March 16, all UIL interscholastic activities are suspended through March 29.”

The previous announcement on Friday afternoon left it up to districts to decide if they would allow practices after schools returned from the extra week of Spring Break next week.

“We spoke with the UIL in person today to make sure we were complying with all guidelines,” Seguin athletic director Travis Bush said on Monday. “The biggest reason they chose to do that was to keep things equivalent across the board with schools that are out and schools that are still in session. We can’t hold any type of organized practices until the 29th — and that date may change. This is new territory for everybody and it’s going to be evaluated daily and adjustments will be made if they see fit.”

Bush said that if school does return next week, practices would be limited to the athletic periods during the school day.

“There’s still schools in session right now across the state and they can’t do any after school or before school practices,” Bush said. “So that kind of keeps things equivalent.”

In the conversation with the UIL, Bush said he was told there are plans to continue the spring seasons once school gets back in session.

“The UIL is working on a plan to finish every season, even if it goes into June or July,” he said. “There going to find a way to make sure, especially for the senior athletes, that they get a chance to finish their season and get a chance to win championships. But, that could change.”

Putting school and extracurricular activities on hold is unheard of, Bush said.

“This is new for everyone, the nation and the state. That’s their goal, but whether it happens will be determined as we go through this ordeal.”

The Seguin Gazette will continue to update the situation as information becomes available.

Kevin Duke is the sports editor of the Seguin Gazette. He can be reached at sports@seguingazette.com .

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