Practices begin for WHS fall sports

Indian tennis will lead off action with first match Thursday; VB scrimmage Friday

Bill Spinks
Waxahachie Daily Light
Waxahachie setter Madison Fuller (2) moves into position during a non-district match at Midlothian last September. The Lady Indians will travel to Red Oak for a preseason scrimmage on Friday to begin 2021 volleyball action.

The thermometer may not indicate it, but the calendar doesn’t lie: It’s time for local schools to begin practice for fall sports seasons.

Volleyball practice, and football practice for those schools that did not participate in spring football, began Monday morning, the first day authorized by the University Interscholastic League. Also beginning fall drills are cross country and team tennis.

Last year, the COVID-19 pandemic forced the UIL to stagger football schedules, with 4A and smaller schools opening their seasons on time and Class 5A and 6A schools starting four weeks later. This season, with vaccines widely available but with protocols still in place, all schools will start as scheduled.

All eyes, of course, will be on the Waxahachie High School football team and new head coach Shane Tolleson, who took over in February and led the Indians through spring and summer workouts.

The former Denton Ryan state-title-winning defensive coordinator inherits a team that finished 5-5, won their final four regular-season games in a row and qualified for the playoffs for the first time in three years as a member of Texas’ highest classification.

The Indians have two preseason scrimmages scheduled: Friday, Aug. 13 at Keller Central and Thursday, Aug. 19 at Red Oak. The Tribe will kick off the 2021 regular season on Friday, Aug. 27 at Stuart B. Lumpkins Stadium against Rowlett.

All game times are set for 7:30 p.m. except the regular-season finale at home against DeSoto, which is set for 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 4.

The WHS tennis team will be the first to lift the lid on the new season with a match at Red Oak starting at 1 p.m. on Thursday. The Indians, coming off a playoff appearance in 2020, will also travel to Arlington next Tuesday, Aug. 10.

On Friday morning, the Lady Indians volleyball team will also travel to Red Oak for a preseason scrimmage with varsity, JV and ninth-grade teams all starting at 10 a.m. The Lady Indians will open the regular season next Tuesday at Burleson Centennial.

Last year, the Lady Indians finished 17-6 overall after making the playoffs for the 19th consecutive season under legendary head coach Sandy Faussett-Stoops.

The WHS boys’ and girls’ cross-country teams will be busy throughout the months of August and September. The first meet of the year will be the Timberview Invite at the Mansfield Sports Complex on Saturday morning, Aug. 14. Following that will be the Indians’ annual Woodhouse Invitational on Aug. 21 at Camp Lakeview.