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Ben Bolt High first UIL team to bolt

Most of us knew it was coming – the end of the 2020 football season. Some parents, grandparents, friends, coaches, much less the players are still hopeful that it won’t end, that things will miraculously resume to some semblance of normalcy when school is set to begin next month, but given the spread of this new (novel) coronavirus, and new reports that it is attacking the young more than originally thought, that hope seems like a dream at best. For relatively tiny Ben Bolt High, however, the dead 2020 season is a done deal. The school sits approximately seven miles south of Alice on Hwy. 281, and it’s a town we all drive through when we head north toward San Antonio. On Monday, the school’s athletic director, Gary Cunningham, told a reporter with the Corpus Christi Caller-Times that Ben Bolt was going to be the first UIL Texas high school football team to drop out of the 2020 season. The move also cancels the school’s girls volleyball season. The Caller-Times story was posted on the legendary (at least in the sports world) “Dave Campbell’s Texas Football,” which always rolls out the biggest coverage of Texas high school football each summer to preview the upcoming season. This year, it’s surreal in a way, as many things are these days, because on the same page announcing Ben Bolt’s decision not to play football or volleyball this season, there are stories about other teams, and which players look like they’ll be stars in 2020. Sad and strange at the same time. From the Dave Campbell story: “The move comes on the heels of Ben Bolt-Palito Blanco ISD’s school board voting to start the school year virtually for the first nine weeks of the year, accepting the recommendation of Jim Wells County health officials. That means that Ben Bolt High School will be remote at least through October 9, with no extracurricular activities happening during the remote period.” Ben Bolt is a 2A Division 1 school that gets the award for being the first team in south Texas to face the grim reality of COVID-19 and its impact on the sporting world, particularly high school football, which is about as big a deal in south Texas as the annual Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, which most guys buy simply to look at the lovely peaches. Sorry, I mean beaches on which the models model their swimwear. In the beginning of ...

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