The good news: high school football season in Texas is, as of right now, moving forward, albeit in much different fashion.
The bad news: road games are going to look a lot different in the 2020 season.
As chronicled in the News Herald, the University Interscholastic League made an announcement last week that classifications 4A and down will be able to start on time, with a scrimmage (just one this year) the weekend of Aug. 20-22, and the first game the following weekend. The two bigger classifications (6A and 5A) will have to wait a few weeks.
Here’s the rest of it: marching bands and drill teams – Kilgore High School’s band included, of course, and the KHS Hi-Steppers – won’t be allowed to attend road games this season, as a unit to perform. That will be the same for their peers at Sabine High School, Overton, West Rusk, and Leverett’s Chapel.
It was noted that since cheerleaders don’t perform or sit in the stands, they will still be allowed to be on the sidelines during home and road games.
Of course, band and drill team members are allowed to travel to road games as fans, just as any other fans, but not as a unit, and not to perform.
The KHS band just completed a week of band camp, and the Hi-Steppers have camp next weekend.
The busy Hi-Stepper schedule starts with practice Tuesday, Aug. 4, at the gym from 3 p.m. until 5:30. They’ll also practice on Wednesday and Thursday, at those times.
The Hi-Steppers will have their team picture for the 2020-21 school year next Thursday at 6:30 p.m. following practice, at the home of Hi-Stepper Averi Woods.
Hi-Stepper camp is next Friday, Aug. 7, through next Sunday, Aug. 9. That will be at the gym from 9 a.m. until noon, then 1:30 p.m. until 4:30, on that Friday and Saturday, and then on Sunday from 1 p.m. until 4, then 5:30 until 8, if needed.
As for football…
As mentioned last week, because the Kilgore Bulldogs opened their season with three straight programs that were 5A – Nacogdoches, Hallsville and Pine Tree – Kilgore’s schedule had to be altered greatly. Kilgore ISD Athletic Director and head football coach Mike Wood scrambled, like many coaches around the state, to fill those slots, and did.
Off the schedule are scrimmages against Gilmer and Carthage, and those three games against Nac, Hallsville and PT.
Now, Kilgore hosts a preseason scrimmage here at R.E. St. John Memorial Stadium against Kaufman on Thursday night, Aug. 20.
The Ragin’ Red now has a blockbuster season opener, a non-district game here at R.E. St. John against Carthage on Friday night, Aug. 28.
Their next two games are against Terrell (here on Friday night, Sept. 4) and Alvarado, below Fort Worth, on Friday night, Sept. 11.
The rest of the schedule remains the same. Kilgore’s homecoming game this year will be Friday, Sept. 18, against Gladewater, and the final non-district game of the season will be played on the road against former district rival Palestine on Sept. 25.
The ‘Dogs will take an open date on Oct. 2, and then open their district schedule at home Oct. 9 against new district foe Mabank. Kilgore travels to Chapel Hill Oct. 16, hosts Henderson for the renewing of their annual shootout on Oct. 23, visits Athens on Oct. 30, and then finishes the regular season at home against Lindale Nov. 6.
The Bulldogs, like most programs in East Texas, begin practice this coming Monday. Kilgore’s practice will begin at 3:30 p.m.
As far as volleyball, second-year coach Madeline Harris looks to get Kilgore back to the playoffs after a very successful first season in 2019. Harris and her coaches will welcome players for tryouts on Monday, beginning at 4:30 with freshmen, followed by junior varsity and varsity, at the gym on the main campus.
Kilgore volleyball also had to alter their schedule as a result of the UIL’s COVID postponement of 6A and 5A sports.
Kilgore has Tatum on its schedule for next Friday, Aug. 7 here at KHS, but times to be determined for all three teams.
Home scrimmages are set for next Saturday, Aug. 8 at 10 a.m. (although no opponent is listed) and Tuesday, Aug. 11 (against Brownsboro, starting at 4:30 p.m. that day), and a road trip is scheduled to Rusk on Friday, Aug. 14.
For the full football, volleyball, cross country and fall tennis schedules, see the Kilgore High School athletic department pages on www.kisd.org.