By Bill Spinks

After an interminable five-week wait, fall practices for Waxahachie High School sports teams will finally get underway on Monday.

In July, the University Interscholastic League reacted to a surge in COVID-19 cases in the state of Texas by splitting fall sports schedules based on the size of schools. While schools in Class 4A and below were allowed to start their seasons on schedule with their practices starting Aug. 3, Class 5A and 6A schools — including WHS — were prohibited from opening practice before Sept. 7.

The UIL acted to stagger the fall schedules after a number of county health authorities across the state ordered a postponement of extracurricular activities at schools within their counties. Since the UIL’s announcement, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton stepped in with a legal opinion that only local school boards may decide whether to postpone activities.

The fall sports affected are football, volleyball, cross country, golf and team tennis.

The Indians will begin the 2020 football season on Friday, Sept. 18 with a preseason scrimmage against Red Oak at Lumpkins Stadium. The official season opener will be the following Friday at Copperas Cove, with the first home game on Oct. 2 against Arlington Lamar. The WISD athletic department has announced a ticket policy that is available on its website.

District 11-6A football has been divided into two zones of four teams each. The Indians’ first three games will be against zone opponents, with the remaining four games to be determined.

The Lady Indians’ volleyball team, meanwhile, will start their 2020 campaign on Sept. 11 with a scrimmage at Red Oak. A dual match at Mike Turner Gymnasium against Red Oak and Granbury on Sept. 15 will kick off the season, followed by a home match Sept. 18 against Lake Dallas. After that, WHS will be on the road until Oct. 6 against Waco Midway.

The cross country Indians will get their first action of the season on Sept. 11 in the Friday Night Hawk Invitational at McInnish Park in Carrollton. Their first two meets of the season will be 2-mile races. WHS will host the Waxahachie Woodhouse Invitational on Oct. 3 at Lakeview Camp and will also compete in meets at Flower Mound, Keller, Denton, McKinney and Coppell. The District 11-6A meet will be held Oct. 30 at Lynn Creek Park in Grand Prairie.

Indians team tennis will play seven matches this fall, all against 11-6A foes, starting Sept. 15 at home against Waco Midway.

Both the WHS girls’ and boys’ golf teams will open at the Glen Rose Invitational at Squaw Valley Golf Course Sept. 25-26. The Lady Indians have five fall tournaments scheduled, while the boys have four.