Kilgore running back Tray Epps (21) outruns Texas High defenders in a game last fall. KHS athletes, football and volleyball, specifically, can report to the school for conditioning on Monday.

It’s been a while since we could say this, but Kilgore High School athletes, get ready to get busy.

Coronavirus paralyzed the entire nation the last three months, and even caused the 2019-20 school year to abruptly end for just about everyone, including KHS. But Gov. Greg Abbott and the University Interscholastic League are opening things up again, and that means conditioning for athletes.

Kilgore volleyball players are to report to the KHS gym Monday morning for volleyball skills drills from roughly 9 a.m. until 10 a.m., and then on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, from 8 a.m. until 10 a.m., there will be various types of conditioning.

Volleyball will stay after from 10:30 until 11:30 on those days for additional volleyball skill drills, and should bring a snack.

Coach Madeline Harris, who guided Kilgore to a first-round playoff win, will be in her second season at KHS. Harris said summer workouts are highly encouraged, and prepare the players for the season.

Also, physicals that every player must have should be completed and turned in to trainers Darrell “Red” Ganus or LaTamera Fry before Aug. 3; physical forms will be available Monday morning at KHS.

The UIL set Aug. 3 as the first day high school programs can issue equipment, and Aug. 7 is the first day scrimmages are allowed. Monday, Aug. 10 is the first day matches are allowed, and a regular season is planned – the regular season would end at the end of October, as usual, and the first round of the playoffs is scheduled for the weekend of Nov. 2-3.

As for the guys, Kilgore football coach and athletic director Mike Wood said the summer strength and conditioning program starts Monday, with two workout times available: 8 a.m. or 5 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays through July 24.

“Athletes will enter the indoor facility each day to be prescreened before workouts,” Wood said, in a letter. “A temperature and a series of questions will be recorded each day for each athlete.”

Wood said the school will follow the guidelines provided by the UIL, in accordance with CDC guidelines.

“We will utilize parts of the weight room and indoor facility, to ensure proper spacing,” Wood wrote. “All equipment will be cleaned and sanitized before, during and after each session. Hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes will be provided at each station.”

For now, at least, the locker room and shower facilities will be off-limits. Restrooms will be provided, but no clothing or towels are to be shared during workouts.

Athletes will need to come dressed in proper workout gear, and should prepare to shower at home after workouts, rather than at school. Also, they will need to bring water.

Obviously, the next sport on calendar for KHS boys is football. Right now, the UIL plans to start football on time. Practice can begin Aug. 3, and the first time for scrimmages is Aug. 13.

Season openers will be allowed as normal, Aug. 27-29.

The regular season should wind up as it usually does, the first weekend in November, with the first round of the playoffs slated for Nov. 12-14.


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