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https://www.texasfootball.com/article/2020/07/20/tepper-the-uil-changed-the-2020-texas-high-school-football-season-here-s-what-it-means?ref=article_preview_img&fbclid=IwAR3-RtWe-Ed7F81OUq_ORjsJZAsIjtrAcgXXuzQi0DLy5dWreaxb4n7ckGA

Greg TepperGreg TepperJul 21 10:03 am

We knew Texas high school football season would be different in 2020. Now, we now just how different.

The UIL announced sweeping adjustments to the upcoming Texas high school football season on Tuesday, headlined by delaying the start of the season for Class 6A and Class 5A by more than five weeks and pushing the first games back by four weeks. Week 1 of games, originally scheduled for August 27-29, will now take place September 24-26; the start of practice will move from August 3 to September 7. But that is only for the two largest classifications — Class 4A and below will start as scheduled. The changes come as Texas continues to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic, which has increased in ferocity in recent weeks.

There’s a lot to digest here, but some immediate thoughts spring to mind.

1: Take a breath.

The public reaction to the UIL’s announcement, at least initially, is a fair amount of surprise. That’s understandable — this is an unprecedented move by the governing body of Texas high school athletics, and for an organization that generally avoids bold changes, this is one of the boldest. Furthermore, it’s the second truly bold move by the UIL since the pandemic started, coupled with the cancellation of the remainder of spring sports back in April.

It’s important to digest the information in its entirety, and resist urges to jump to conclusions. Whether you love the announcement or hate the announcement or somewhere inbetween, remember that it certainly was not made hastily. It’s going to be OK. Promise.

2: The UIL found a compromise.

Now, on to the actual heart of the announcement.

The pandemic and its various ripple effects are a unique challenge for the UIL, whose goal is to centralize in a landscape that is fundamentally decentralized. In many ways, the UIL was forced to act by a variety of different external factors — schools in large swaths of the state, including Houston, Austin, Dallas, San Antonio, the Rio Grande Valley, Laredo and El Paso, would not be allowed to start practices on the scheduled August 3 date, nor play games on the scheduled Week 1 of August 27-29. A rough and admittedly incomplete count of the impact of local restrictions on extracurricular activities (whether from school districts, cities or counties) suggest that nearly one-quarter of the UIL member schools wouldn’t be able to kick off football as originally scheduled.

“But,” some will say, “what about the schools that aren’t as affected, that could kick off on time? Why should they have their schedule delayed?” It’s a fair question. Some schools, particularly in rural areas, may feel that they are having to adjust their own season for the sake of some far-off schools they’ll never encounter.

That's why the UIL made the rather unprecedented decision to split the start times of the seasons, with Class 4A and below — schools that are smaller and, in many cases, more rural — starting as scheduled, while Classes 6A and 5A — larger schools that tend to be near major metro areas — will start later.

If the UIL didn’t adjust the schedule, many teams would be put at a disadvantage through no fault of their own; some would even be effectively eliminated from playoff contention as a result. But by delaying the start of the season and setting a firm start date, they’re giving those schools more of an opportunity to control their football destiny. There will almost certainly still be schools that don’t field football teams in 2020, but this adjusted schedule at least gives them a chance.

The UIL was never going to leave nearly a quarter of its members behind. By delaying the season for the bigger schools but keeping smaller schools unchanged, it found a middle-ground for all of its schools.

3: Here’s what we heard behind-the-scenes.

Texas Football began to hear rumblings early last week that a decision was imminent. The original plan that was bandied about (though never confirmed by the UIL) was notably different from today’s announcement: a delayed start, but with a truncated regular season — something along the lines of seven regular season games instead of the usual ten — leading into the full six weeks of playoffs. For much of last week, that appeared to be the idea.

But the plan apparently began to shift late in the week, as sources began to relay to Texas Football that the UIL was now eyeing a full regular season and playoffs, but with the same delay for all schools. Sources indicate to Texas Football that some within the UIL were extremely adamant that a full season must be played, or at least attempted.

Then, early this week, the rumblings shifted again — this time to the split-start schedule.

Furthermore, sources indicate that the UIL views playing football in the spring as a last resort, and that canceling the season was not under serious consideration.

4: The situation remains fluid.

The UIL’s announcement is a stark one, but it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the final one. If anything has been consistent during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s that the situation can and will change rapidly. Just two weeks ago, the UIL pressing on as scheduled; now, a radical change. Players, coaches and fans should prepare for the season as presently scheduled, but know that there is still the very real possibility that it will be further postponed, truncated, canceled or otherwise adjusted.

As with everything in this pandemic, stay on your toes.

5: There are still a lot of questions.

We know the headlines and the outline of the UIL’s plan, but there’s still a lot of unknowns that we’ll have to decipher over the coming weeks. Some queries right off the top:

-What happens to the small-school teams that are unable to start on time? While major metro areas tend to be big schools, there are a good number of small schools whose season will start as scheduled but will be unable to do so because of local restrictions.

-Depending on the number of schools and school districts that opt out of the 2020 season, will the UIL consider a new one-year district alignment?

-The UIL left protocols for COVID-related forfeitures up to the individual districts; how will each district handle that looming issue?

-With football now officially stretching into January, how will the UIL handle the holidays?

Those are just a few of the many lingering questions we’ll need to find the answers to over the next two months before the season kicks off.

6: This is the least-bad option.

In the end, it’s important to remember that the UIL only had bad options at their disposal. The COVID-19 pandemic has upended seemingly everything in society, and the recent spike in severity here in Texas makes high school football season a particularly sticky problem.

The UIL’s first priority is to keep student-athletes and coaches safe. And with a virus that’s already taken the lives of nearly 4,000 Texans and put tens of thousands into the hospital — and one whose long-term effects we still don’t know — playing a normal season of Texas high school football was simply out of the question.

The UIL’s plan is not perfect. It’s not going to be without its tangles moving forward. And there’s still a fair chance the season is transformed again. But for now, the UIL chose the best plan — that is, the least-bad plan — to pursue some kind of a Texas high school football season.

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Matt Stepp    By Matt Stepp @ Dave Campbell Texas Football

https://www.texasfootball.com/article/2020/07/21/uil-announces-delayed-start-for-class-6a-and-5a-for-2020-texas-high-school-football-season?ref=article_preview_title

The University Interscholastic League made a monumental and rather shochking announcement on Tuesday, delaying the start of all fall activities for the state's two largest classifications, including Texas high school football, by five weeks. The announcement does not change the schedule for the smaller classifications.

For Class 6A and Class 5A, the UIL pushed the start of practice, slated to start August 3, to September 7. The first week of Texas high school football games will now happen on September 24-26, four weeks later than the original August 27-29 start date.

This move has major impacts to all extra-curricular activities across the state of Texas, most notably football. The playoffs for the two largest classifications, which were originally slated to start on November 12, will now begin on Thursday December 3. The UIL state championship games were scheduled for December 16-19 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington; they are now moving to a date TBD in January.

Untouched for now, though, is Class 4A, 3A, 2A and 1A, which will continue as scheduled — practices will start August 3, games will kickoff August 27-29, playoffs begin November 12 and the state championships remain scheduled for mid-late December.

It's a stunning announcement from the UIL, who usually insists on treating all classifications equally.

Another wild card in this scenario: the UIL must navigate local entities that are putting tighter restrictions on things. For example: Hidalgo County (down in the Rio Grande Valley) and Houston ISD have mandated in person learning can’t begin until much later than the Labor Day start the UIL has implemented. In these two areas, extra-curricular activities (sports included) can’t start until in-person learning begins. Will these schools see an even shorter season (or possibly no season), or will the school districts seek to relax those rules around practicing during the virtual learning sessions?

Looking at the athletics calendar as a whole, this move by the UIL to push back the start of the season may be the last available move to ensure a football season gets played in this school year. There may not be another chance to delay the season further; but due to the size of our state and the varying conditions in individual locales, if the season does move forward with its newly scheduled September 7 start, there’s a chance that some school districts won't be able to field football teams this year if the local health situation does not show improvement. 

The situation remains fluid, and TexasFootball.com will continue to follow the story.

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Lufkin is scheduled to play 6A Tyler Legacy and 5A Div II Nacogdoches so there is no change to the schedule.  Scrimmage was originally with Huntsville , another 5A Div II.  They had added 6A Longview as a scrimmage game because the UIL had added in an earlier mandate.  Now, just the one scrimmage with Huntsville

Just want to remind everyone as already mentioned,  this situation remains fluid and subject to UIL change again.  However, with that said,  this is a great place to start, with so much uncertainty so close to the original start date of August 3rd and still trying to wind down these COVID cases.    Still concerned about the Houston area and how things work out down there.  We all know Harris County and their schools, namely Houston ISD will not begin until September 7th.  This mandate has not affected the schools in Lufkin's football district.    Of course, the Panthers do not compete in the Houston area districts in any of our other sports.

 

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Tyler South is that what they are calling the old lee school until they find a name? Is JT Tyler North? 
 

Excited we will have football and hopefully we can finish the season and I pray all stay healthy and we kick this virus *ss. 

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1 hour ago, pack98 said:

Tyler South is that what they are calling the old lee school until they find a name? Is JT Tyler North? 
 

Excited we will have football and hopefully we can finish the season and I pray all stay healthy and we kick this virus *ss. 

Well, I don't know what else to call them.  Personally, I have no interest in what they call their schools.  Robert E. Lee and John Tyler don't care either,  they have both been dead 158 and 150 years respectively.  Anyway, the thought that some building or school would bear their name in the future, probably never crossed  their minds.   

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Lufkin Panther Football 2020-2021 (Revised)

 

Sept. 18 - Huntsville – Scrimmage – Abe Martin Stadium – TBA

Sept. 25 - Tyler Red Raiders - TMF Rose Stadium – 7:30 PM

Oct. 2 - Nacogdoches - Abe Martin Stadium - 7:00 PM

Oct. 9 - Magnolia West * - Mustang Stadium – 7:00 PM

Oct. 16 – Magnolia * - Abe Martin Stadium – 7:00 PM

Oct. 23 – New Caney Porter * - Randall Reed Stadium – 7:00 PM

Oct. 30 – New Caney * - HC – Abe Martin Stadium – 7:00 PM

Nov. 6 – College Station * - College Station HS - 7:00 PM

Nov. 13 – OPEN WEEK

Nov. 20 – Cleveland * - Abe Martin Stadium – 7:00 PM

Nov. 27 – Conroe Caney Creek * - Buddy Moorehead Stadium – 7:00 PM

Dec. 4 – Waller * - Abe Martin Stadium – 7:00 PM

 

Dec. 11 -  1st Round of Playoffs ( Bi-District)

 

* Indicates District Games HC – Homecoming Game

 

On another note. The non district schedules of some of our 8-5A district teams are going to be off if they are playing a Houston ISD  or area team.

Caney Creek had  scheduled Pasadena and Galena Park

College Station had Fort Bend Bush scheduled.

Cleveland had Fulshear (Katy area) 5A DII and Houston North Forest scheduled.

     
       
   
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Here are a few other guidelines by the UIL, to take effect when the season does begin.

 

Game, contest and event management was given its own section of guidelines.

Among the guidelines are screening of workers including staff and officials, distanced spectator areas, frequent disinfecting of used areas, and altered pregame and postgame gestures, ‘to help reduce the risk of spread of COVID-19.

Student groups such as cheerleaders, drill teams and marching bands will be allowed at events and schools are asked to consider, ‘limiting the number of participants to those essential to the performance.’

It’s going to take a total team effort, some of the capacity rules in place are some things to look at,  an athletic director and a district will have to try to figure out to accommodate visiting teams and their fans in their facilities.

Schools are asked to limit spectators at events, ‘within a 50 percent maximum occupancy.’ Spectators, and everyone in attendance, will be required to wear face coverings, per Governor Greg Abbott’s GA-29 order. Groups, defined as, ‘no more than 10 people including the members of the household and those persons who traveled together to the facility,’ will be required to socially distance in the stands, and schools are asked to consider allowing seating in every other row.

Each individual entity, whatever they’re responsible for — the seating, cleaning the locker rooms — everybody is going to have a hand in following the guidelines. At the end of the day, it’s for the safety of the kids. Everything they do as administrators, coaches, teachers, it’s for the kids. This is something added to the schools plate that they’re asked to do.

Press boxes are also encouraged to be socially distanced and schools are asked to limit access to working media to ensure protocols are followed. Post game interviews will require face coverings and social distancing as well.

Concessions will also be allowed at events, with limitations explained in the latest guidelines.

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https://theoldcoach.com/areas/east-texas/name-to-know-lufkin-qb-jordan-moore/

 

Moore said that after being named the Preseason Offensive MVP for his district by Dave Campbell’s Texas Football. The 6’2 185-pound Lufkin quarterback had an incredible year for Lufkin last year. He led them to a 9-2 record whilst completing 66% of his passes for 2,894 yards and 25 touchdowns to just three interceptions.

“What leads to my success is my determination and hard work,” Moore said.

Moore is a three-star quarterback via 247Sports rankings. He’s ranked as the 59th dual-threat quarterback and the 260th player overall in the state of Texas.

Lufkin has impressively gone 30-7 in the past three years. Moore wants to be the one to get Lufkin over the hump and bring a state title back home to them.

“The first goal is to win a district championship the second is to win a state title,” he said.

 

5d6b055485f11.image.jpg

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https://www.kltv.com/2020/07/21/uil-run-two-separate-fall-sports-calendars/

The mood on Monday with coaches seemed to be optimistic. With hopes of finally getting the kids back on the competition fields.

“We have a start date,” Lufkin head coach Todd Quick said. “We know we can play. Just having that start date we know we can move forward now. I don’t think it will be hard to get our guys motivated since before today they were not sure if there would be a season.”

Playing into the next calendar year will present some challenges but teams are excited. The UIL s;till plans for the 6A and 5A classifications to have 4 teams qualify for the playoffs from each district. The playoffs would start December 10. Regional round games could be played on Christmas Eve or the day after Christmas. The state quarterfinals could happen on New Years Eve all the way through January 2. The state championships are set for January 11.

“We have to keep the guys healthy,” Longview head coach John King said. “That is a long time and I plan on us playing in January. Also I don’t say this to be disrespectful, some of these teams have never played into December. We will have district games in December. They don’t know how to handle a Thanksgiving break. This is going to be different.”

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5A and 6A schools will have a delayed start, while 1A-4A schools will begin the season without any changes. 

Q: Will Early College Enrollees and Graduates Be Affected?

A: Classes for the Spring Semesters are set to begin on January 13th and 19th, and the state title games are slated to be played the week of January 11-16. So while the window may be very tight for any teams playing in the semifinals or state title games, there should be enough flexibility for those select few athletes in those games. UIL allows baseball and softball players to play in playoff games post-graduation, so a precedent has been set in other sports. 

Note: This answer may be updated with more clarification from the UIL. 

More Clarification:

Early enrollee participation

How does this affect 6A and 6A recruits who enroll early? The typical Texas baseball and softball playoff schedule already spills over past the graduation date so early winter graduates in this football’s case should be treated similarly. But what about those that enroll in the spring college semester?

If you’re graduated and registered for a collegiate curriculum that starts mid-January, will you be eligible to play if your team is in the midst of a run that could stretch to the state finals set to be played on January 11? It’s possible that they make an exception, but it’s something to certainly think about.  

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Lufkin is very fortunate that their 2020 schedule remains intact.  Lots of other teams around the State are trying to replace lost non district games.  I'm still not convinced that this new announcement by the UIL will happen on time.  If it does, then hallelujah and pass the biscuits! 

They had to set a date and time for preparation purposes, and if the season gets moved again, at least the plans will be in place for whatever time the season would occur.

This all gives coaches, players and school administrators something definite to put on a calender.  

With the starting of the football season on August 27th for all 4A, 3A, 2A and !A schools, the Texas High School Football season gets extended from 17 weeks to 22 weeks ending on January 15th , 2021.  Going right into the College Bowl season and NFL playoffs.  Quite interesting to see how this will all go.  Really kind of exciting based on the extended period of time we have been without competitive sports to watch since march and April.  Having some football around here after Thanksgiving will be nice to experience, and that's not meant to be a negative.

Scrimmage 09/18 - Huntsville
W1 09/25 -  @ Tyler Red Raiders
W2 10/02 -  Nacogdoches
W3 10/09 - @ Magnolia West
W4 10/16 -  Magnolia
W5 10/23 - @ New Caney Porter
W6 10/30 -  New Caney
W7 11/06 -  @ College Station
W8 11/13 -  OPEN
W9 11/20 -  Cleveland
W10 11/27 -  @ Conroe Caney Creek
W11 12/04 -  Waller

Playoff Dates:
Bi-District 12/11
Area 12/18
Regional Semifinal  12/24 or 12/26
Regional Final  12/31/20 or 1/1/21
State Semifinal 01/08
State Championship 01/15

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5 hours ago, PackAttack said:

Lufkin is very fortunate that their 2020 schedule remains intact.  Lots of other teams around the State are trying to replace lost non district games.  I'm still not convinced that this new announcement by the UIL will happen on time.  If it does, then hallelujah and pass the biscuits! 

They had to set a date and time for preparation purposes, and if the season gets moved again, at least the plans will be in place for whatever time the season would occur.

This all gives coaches, players and school administrators something definite to put on a calender.  

With the starting of the football season on August 27th for all 4A, 3A, 2A and 1A schools, the Texas High School Football season gets extended from 17 weeks to 22 weeks ending on January 15th , 2021.  Going right into the College Bowl season and NFL playoffs.  Quite interesting to see how this will all go.  Really kind of exciting based on the extended period of time we have been without competitive sports to watch since march and April.  Having some football around here after Thanksgiving will be nice to experience, and that's not meant to be a negative.

Scrimmage 09/18 - Huntsville
W1 09/25 -  @ Tyler Red Raiders
W2 10/02 -  Nacogdoches
W3 10/09 - @ Magnolia West
W4 10/16 -  Magnolia
W5 10/23 - @ New Caney Porter
W6 10/30 -  New Caney
W7 11/06 -  @ College Station
W8 11/13 -  OPEN
W9 11/20 -  Cleveland
W10 11/27 -  @ Conroe Caney Creek
W11 12/04 -  Waller

Playoff Dates:
Bi-District 12/11
Area 12/18
Regional Semifinal  12/24 or 12/26
Regional Final  12/31/20 or 1/1/21
State Semifinal 01/08
State Championship 01/15

It feels weird thinking we will be playing both Christmas eve and New Years eve. But we will be.

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The Football Mothers club is now selling LP masks. All students must wear a mask to school and every spectator at a UIL sporting event must have a mask on. These are light weight and have a nose piece to help prevent glasses from fogging. They also have a place to insert a filter if desired on the underside. $10 each. Available In adult and youth sizes. Please message JonAnna Arnold or Lufkin Panther Football Mother's Club on Facebook if you would like one for yourself or your child. Help support LP football!!  Thanks!

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https://www.lufkinisd.org/2020/07/21/football-season-expected-to-start-sept-28-after-uil-changes-announced-today/

“It’s going to look a lot different, especially when we have half a stadium filled up — which is not normally what we see,” Quick said. “There are some schools that are not allowing people in the bleachers at all, so we’re thankful for the 50%. We have to take care of all the band, the cheerleaders, the drill team, the football players’ parents — make sure they have the opportunity to get in — and for the most part, (season ticket holders) have said, ‘Yes, I’ll be willing to give up my tickets for a parent but maybe not be able to get in.’ Most of the people are doing that, but that’s just kind of who we are."       

 

Okay, let's look at what that may mean for fans overall.  Just an estimate here.  You start at the 50% capacity limit, which is 5233 for Abe Martin.  Let's guesstimate some approximate numbers for the band (150), drill team/cheerleaders/sponsors (50) , coaches, players, trainers/officials (100), participating school employees such as announcers, concession workers, security (50), we can estimate about 350.  Players family members, estimate 5 persons per player/coach x 75  = 375.  Okay, we now have an estimated total of 725.  Okay, for simplicity sake, lets estimate the same numbers for the visiting team. Trying to cover all bases, IF their band, drill, cheerleaders, players, coaches and players parents were to make the out of town trip, they will use the same 725 .  This is just to get a small visual of what may be left,  after taking care of all the essential people Coach Quick is talking about in this article.  So far we have estimated 1450 essential persons and to me that is a generous deduction.  If anyone has another opinion here, please express it here.    Deduct that 1450 number from 5233, you still have 3783 spaces that are still allowed under the 50% capacity rule.    As has been expressed by others here,  the Panther games the last 2 or 3 years have averaged less than 5000 actual people in the stands, with the exception of a Longview or Nacogdoches game.  The district counts all the season tickets sold for all home games , whether the people show for the game or not, so their average game attendance may show a higher number.  However, actual butts in the seats has averaged 5000 or less per game overall the past 2 or 3 years.

There is no question, there will be many season ticket holder who will not attend games this year due to personal health concerns.  So there should be more than enough of those tickets available for player families who would need tickets. There still should be ample tickets available for those who may want to sit on the home side or visitor general admission section.  At least 3700 of them .

What do you think?

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Quick lol. Other than the lobo game, every game at home the last few seasons (honestly several other seasons as well)  was maybe 60% full to capacity. And I’m probably being nice saying that. I was shocked at the crowd for the playoff game..

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36 minutes ago, Pack007 said:

Quick lol. Other than the lobo game, every game at home the last few seasons (honestly several other seasons as well)  was maybe 60% full to capacity. And I’m probably being nice saying that. I was shocked at the crowd for the playoff game..

The low fan attendance for last years playoff games, comes from inconsistent playoff success.  Lufkin fans now wait to see if the team can win a couple of playoff games before they start to showing up to watch the team.  If they make it to the 3rd or 4th round we start getting a big following of folks who have probably not seen a Panther game all year long,  then Lufkin gets knocked out.  Sometimes,  all some fans see is Lufkin getting beat in the playoff rounds.  There are times I sit by folks who have either,  not seen Lufkin play all year or maybe in 2 or 3 years??  They know nothing about the players, or how Lufkin got to that particular playoff game they are attending.    We have a weird group of fans in Lufkin that just don't show up until the team shows them something,  just as we have those long time loyal fans that almost never miss attending or listening to the games each year.   Winning lots of playoff games, breeds success and  brings out a larger fan base to watch. That's true with most programs in Texas..

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8 hours ago, PackAttack said:

https://www.lufkinisd.org/2020/07/21/football-season-expected-to-start-sept-28-after-uil-changes-announced-today/

“It’s going to look a lot different, especially when we have half a stadium filled up — which is not normally what we see,” Quick said. “There are some schools that are not allowing people in the bleachers at all, so we’re thankful for the 50%. We have to take care of all the band, the cheerleaders, the drill team, the football players’ parents — make sure they have the opportunity to get in — and for the most part, (season ticket holders) have said, ‘Yes, I’ll be willing to give up my tickets for a parent but maybe not be able to get in.’ Most of the people are doing that, but that’s just kind of who we are."       

 

Okay, let's look at what that may mean for fans overall.  Just an estimate here.  You start at the 50% capacity limit, which is 5233 for Abe Martin.  Let's guesstimate some approximate numbers for the band (150), drill team/cheerleaders/sponsors (50) , coaches, players, trainers/officials (100), participating school employees such as announcers, concession workers, security (50), we can estimate about 350.  Players family members, estimate 5 persons per player/coach x 75  = 375.  Okay, we now have an estimated total of 725.  Okay, for simplicity sake, lets estimate the same numbers for the visiting team. Trying to cover all bases, IF their band, drill, cheerleaders, players, coaches and players parents were to make the out of town trip, they will use the same 725 .  This is just to get a small visual of what may be left,  after taking care of all the essential people Coach Quick is talking about in this article.  So far we have estimated 1450 essential persons and to me that is a generous deduction.  If anyone has another opinion here, please express it here.    Deduct that 1450 number from 5233, you still have 3783 spaces that are still allowed under the 50% capacity rule.    As has been expressed by others here,  the Panther games the last 2 or 3 years have averaged less than 5000 actual people in the stands, with the exception of a Longview or Nacogdoches game.  The district counts all the season tickets sold for all home games , whether the people show for the game or not, so their average game attendance may show a higher number.  However, actual butts in the seats has averaged 5000 or less per game overall the past 2 or 3 years.

There is no question, there will be many season ticket holder who will not attend games this year due to personal health concerns.  So there should be more than enough of those tickets available for player families who would need tickets. There still should be ample tickets available for those who may want to sit on the home side or visitor general admission section.  At least 3700 of them .

What do you think?

PA,

 

I think you are spot on and also not having the team from Mexico this year. I think the crowd size will be good and I think that all that want a seat will get a seat I don’t foresee any issues with trying to get tickets. 
 

Go Pack 

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