An unfortunate sight for many: empty fields and bright-white cleats, as Covid takes its turn on high school football for Texas. As of August 25, six games have been canceled in the Dallas Fort-Worth area, and 25 season openers in total have been terminated across the state. In arguably one of the most competitive high school sports zones in America, grand plans of victory have ground to a stop.
Dave Campbell’s football insider Matt Stepp reports about Covid via Twitter, “I don’t think we’ll deal with [it] as much as last year, but we will be dealing with it all year.” In the Dallas ISD, around 1,450 of its 145,000 students and staff have contacted Covid. The second biggest district, Fort-Worth ISD, reports around 1,000 students were infected.
The usual consensus is that football always has been a very high-contact sport, creating a breeding ground for disease. Dr. Mark Casanova, the ex-president of the Dallas County Medical Society, voices his concerns on the delta variant’s impact on sports.
“It’s not terribly surprising… [The delta variant] is highly transmissible and the viral load that is transmitted is much greater. I think the inference that many of us are making is we’re seeing a greater number of otherwise healthy and younger individuals hospitalized this go-around that we were not seeing with the alpha variant,” says Dr. Casanova. Varsity programs such as North Dallas, Venus, Pinkston, and Thomas Jefferson have already canceled games due to Covid concerns.
A good solution is in high demand. For varsity players, 2020 was a wake-up call for the delicateness of football during Covid. Final seasons and college scouting were stolen from even the most prestigious and competitive schools. Parents, players, and fans alike pray for a quick return to Dallas high school football.