Athletes & Coaches Staying Competitive Despite U.I.L. Cancellations

By Camaron Abundes   
NewsWest 9

WEST TEXAS- The Odessa High School Varsity Softball team planned to play in the first round of playoffs this weekend, instead the team is benched thanks to sweeping measures by the University Interscholastic League.

The U.I.L. suspended all of its events this week, as a precautionary measure against the swine flu outbreak.

"We had a game going into this weekend and they were excited and now they can't play for two weeks, it brought the intensity level down," Stephanie Graham, head softball coach for Odessa High School, said.

Graham gave her team the weekend off but hopes to have a scrimmage to keep the girls competitive when they eventually play in the playoffs on May 15th.

"That's what you plan all season for, that's the goal to win a State Championship," Graham said. "It's almost like you're starting your season over."

At Midland High School, the changes will mean athletes in track and field will have to wait to compete in the Regional Track Meet. Head Bulldog Football Coach and Athletic Coordinator Craig Yenzer says the cancellations are historic.

"I've been doing this for thirty years," Coach Yenzer said. "We've never seen anything like this."

Teams must hold on to their edge while the U.I.L. and school districts like M.I.S.D. take all the precautions necessary to prevent a pandemic.

"It's a tough position for the U.I.L. to be in, it's a tough position for the coaches and the players to be in," Yenzer said.

Midland Independent School District Superintendent Dr. Sylvester Perez says the district is taking every precaution including cancelling all out of town trips for students and teachers.

"We're eliminating contact whether the schools have closed down or not," Dr. Perez said.

UIL sports may resume on May 11th.