Breckenridge Texan

Coach Pearce, Buckaroos welcome UIL announcement, get ready for football, volleyball

Coach Pearce, Buckaroos welcome UIL announcement, get ready for football, volleyball
July 24
09:36 2020

With the 2020 football season being in limbo for several months due to COVID-19, first-year Breckenridge Football Coach and Athletic Director Casey Pearce finally got the news he has been waiting for on Tuesday when the UIL laid out the guidelines for the 2020 football season, announcing the start dates for the upcoming football season.

According to the UIL, Classes 4A-1A will start football and volleyball activities on Monday, Aug. 3, with first games on schedule for Aug. 10 (volleyball) and Aug. 27 for football. That means Breckenridge High School’s District 3-3A Div. 1 football and District 7-3A volleyball teams will start the season as scheduled.

Class 5A and 6A will have to wait until Sept. 7 to begin practices with their first game being on Sept. 24 for football and Sept. 14 for volleyball. Cross country meets can start Aug. 17 for 4A-1A and Sept. 7 for 5 and 6A.

“It is probably the most positive and normal news that you can get,” Pearce said. “I’m excited to hear that all this preparation that we have tried to get is on schedule.

“It’s unbelievable how we are kind of getting paid back for trying to just grind and press through all the controversy and the hype about the virus,” Pearce said. “We have been very lucky that we have been able to stay healthy and have done things right and sanitized and gave them a chance to be outside (with strength and conditioning workouts).”

According to Pearce, new guidelines were also released on Wednesday stipulating that any school that has been shut down since June 20 or any point during the second and third weeks of July, will not get to start until Aug. 10. He said those schools will have to do one week of strength and conditioning prior to getting to start their actual practices.

“The fact that we kind of toughened up and stayed on track with the measures we have taken, we will get to start on Aug. 3 like a bunch of others,” Pearce said. “There are some that will not get to start on time and as a result, they told us today that you will lose your first scrimmage. So, our Vernon scrimmage we have lost, but we will scrimmage Mineral Wells and then get ready to play Jacksboro.”

Pearce said he sees having to cancel the first scrimmage on Aug. 14 as a positive for the Buckaroos.

“It’s kind of a blessing because it gives us an extra week of installation and just getting to do things in full pads with our kids, kind of like spring football,” Pearce said. “It was pretty cool to hear that today. I know we are losing a contest, but I know we will be better for it.”

As far as the teams in District 3-3A Div. 1 with the Buckaroos, Pearce said he would assume that the teams in the district are on the same start schedule.

“I do not know for sure, but my assumption is that everyone west of Interstate 35 has kind of dodged the problems and there’s not counties shut down,” Pearce said. “I would assume and venture to say that everyone in our district is on schedule to start Aug. 3 and get ready to go.”

Limited Stadium Seating

As far as the changes affecting the season and fans at Buckaroo stadium, Pearce said the initial announcement is 50 percent capacity.

“In Buckaroo Stadium, that means we would have to put a bunch of people in there before we have to worry about half capacity,” Pearce said. “We want to have somebody tell us that we are going to have to start cutting some ticket sales.”

“What we want to do is create some excitement and make people want to come,” Pearce said. “If they have to sit on the visitor side in general admission, then so be it.”

Continuing Practice

When Aug. 3 rolls around in less then two weeks, the Bucks will have a week before going full contact.

“For the first two days, there will not be any type of pads or contact with a player, but you can have contact on padded equipment,” Pearce said. “On the third and fourth day, pads down to the thighs will be added (shoulder, hip, butt and thigh pads) and still can’t hit a player but can use mechanized equipment, like a sled. On Friday, you can add the knee pads and pants to it and hit full contact versus a player but have to try and prevent the player from going to the ground. On Saturday, you can go contact to the ground for less than 60 minutes.

“We will do about a 40-60 play scrimmage on that Saturday that we finish the first week,” he said.

As the summer strength and conditioning draws closer to an end, Pearce said the turnout higher than expected.

“It has been unbelievable,” Pearce said. “We had roughly 40 to 50 boys at the (junior high) level and around 65 to 90 (high school) boys and 60 to 70 girls from (grades) 6 through 12. It has been unreal. We have had every senior boy on the roster show up. So, that is exciting.”

The two months of summer training have been beneficial for the student athletes, the coach said.

“To watch them go from June 8 to July 23, there has been unbelievable change in the kids,” Pearce said. “Their bodies have completely changed. Just from what they look like, how their posture is, the work ethic. I can tell you that our girls are just as tough as our boys.”

Pearce said with all the seniors on the roster showing up each day, he believes that they feel like they have something to prove

“The indication to me is that they don’t want to be 1 and 9,” Pearce said. “They have always been thought of as the small class or didn’t have athleticism, but they want to be better than that and prove that.”

The Bucks will start two-a-day workouts at 5 p.m. Monday, Aug. 3, at Buckaroo Stadium.

Editors note: In Tuesday’s announcement from the UIL, several detailed many rules and regulations for the season, including those concerning stadium capacity, concession stands and more. To see a comprehensive list of rules visit the UIL website at this link: https://www.uiltexas.org/policy/covid-19/2020-2021-uil-covid-19-risk-mitigation-guidelines

 

Story by Brant Thurmond/Breckenridge Texan

Cutline, top photo: Coach Casey Pearce works with student athletes at a strength and conditioning session earlier in the summer. The coaches and athletes found out this week that they will be able to start the upcoming football and volleyball seasons on schedule. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)


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