UPDATE: On March 19, the UIL announced it was extending the suspension of activities through May 4.    > Read more

The local sports schedule continued to take a hit on Friday, as organizations and conferences responded to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The UIL, the governing body for public school extracurricular activities in Texas, announced that effective Monday, it was suspending all interscholastic competitions through March 29. Rehearsals and practices would be up to the discretion of each individual school district, the UIL said.

“We are urging our member schools and their communities to stay vigilant and take every possible precaution to remain safe and healthy,” said UIL Executive Director Dr. Charles Breithaupt. “We understand there is a lot of uncertainty during this unprecedented time. Please know UIL leadership is working diligently to adjust to this rapidly evolving situation and will share updates as soon as possible.”

The North Texas Junior College Athletic Conference, which includes Central Texas junior colleges McLennan, Hill and Temple, initially suspended all spring sports through March 30. Then later on Friday the NJCAA, which governs all junior college and community college athletics, announced that it was suspending athletic competitions from Saturday through April 3.

MCC also called off its Family Fun Day event that had been scheduled for March 28 at Bosque River Ballpark. MCC’s baseball team was ranked 10th in the NJCAA poll and was sitting at 19-5 overall and 5-1 in conference play following a sweep of Temple on Wednesday. The MCC softball squad was ranked 19th nationally, with an overall mark of 19-4 and a conference record of 8-2 after sweeps of Temple and Hill earlier this week.

MCC baseball coach Mitch Thompson said that he respected the NJCAA’s decision and the idea of being “really smart and vigilant” with its response to the coronavirus. But he was also grateful that his Highlanders might still have a chance to play.

“Our guys were very happy that the season isn’t canceled at this point,” Thompson said. “I’m really pleased that the NJCAA showed respect to the kids and the coaches to take a little time of and then reevaluate things, because to cancel the season would be a sad, sad thing after all the hard work that’s been put in.”

The Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools (TAPPS) announced that it would suspend all interscholastic competition through April 12. TAPPS is the governing body for local private schools like Reicher, Vanguard, Eagle Christian and Live Oak Classical. The vast majority of TAPPS state championship events are held in the Waco area.

“If it is deemed safe at that time (April 12) to resume participation, we will have developed a plan for championship competition for each activity, given the constraints of scheduling and available facilities,” TAPPS said in a release.

Similarly to the UIL, TAPPS said that it would leave it up to individual schools’ discretion whether to hold practices, though practices would not be allowed for schools with closed campuses or holding online classes.

The Texas High School Women's Powerlifting Association State Meet, which was scheduled for March 20-21 at the Extraco Events Center, has been postponed. A rescheduled April meet in Corpus Christi has been canceled.

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