Football returned Monday, Aug. 3 across Wharton County.
The Wharton Tigers on Monday morning at Eddie Joseph Memorial Stadium threw the football around, but putting on the helmets will have to wait for another week.
Wharton ISD suspended its summer workouts on July 14, the University Interscholastic League (UIL) guidelines explained schools that haven’t been working out regularly will have to undergo a week of strength and conditioning.
Despite athletic facilities being closed, the school did provide drills for students to do at home so they could stay in shape for when they eventually would come back.
Uncertainty surrounding the season was a worry for the Tigers until just recently.
“Yeah (I thought football wasn’t coming back). They had a rumor going around saying that football was going to get canceled due to COVID-19,” senior wide receiver/defensive back James Jones said. “I checked in with my coach and he said that was a false rumor. So I started working out.”
On a Tigers’ text chain they all found out the news and seriously started preparing to come back to the field about two weeks ago, Jones said.
Wharton athletes spent a lot of time apart since spring break when the school shut down, but Monday was special.
“It means a lot and it feels good,” Jones said.
For the rest of the week, the high school Tigers’ will workout at the stadium from 6:30-8:30 a.m.
Wharton athletic officials have played it safe throughout the offseason. While the COVID-19 pandemic is still ongoing they are ready for football to come back and will do so cautiously.
“COVID definitely caused some obstacles, but we will follow every guideline to keep our kids safe and healthy,” Wharton ISD Athletics Director Chad Butler said. “We are excited and look forward to a great season, regardless of the obstacles.”
Take is slow, girls
Like football, the Lady Tigers’ volleyball program will also have to wait a week before fully starting.
Volleyball for the rest of the week will continue strength and conditioning. The female athletes workout from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the old high school gym.
The Lady Tigers’ first scrimmages can start Aug. 14-15 and they can play games Aug. 17.