The summer is nearing its end, which means fall sports are about to arrive.
High school athletes will report to their respective teams on Monday for the beginning of pre-season workouts.
Most of the local athletic programs have been holding summer strength and conditioning workouts since mid-July, but Monday beckons the beginning of sport-specific practices. The Snyder Tiger football team will begin its second season under head coach Wes Wood.
In 2019, the Tigers went 3-7 and will look to improve in 2020. They will have to replace a pair of playmakers in 2020 graduates Jayden Samaniego and Greg Williams, and the Tigers will rely on a strong junior class.
The Lady Tiger volleyball team is coming off a historic 2019 season in which they won the programs’ first district championship in 20 years. They boast several returners from that 2019 team. Junior libero Abby Benitez and senior Kamiah Davis will lead the way as the Lady Tigers go for back-to-back district championships.
Senior Christian Escobedo is back to lead the Snyder cross country teams. Escobedo has set his goals higher than ever as a senior. He’ll be joined by a majority of the reigning district champion Snyder Tiger cross country team.
It will be a very different looking football team in Ira this year. Head coach Toby Goodwin will have to replace seven seniors. Juniors Shayden Hatley and Cody McCowen both gained valuable varsity experience as sophomores in 2019 and McCowen was selected by Dave Campbell’s Texas Football magazine as the pre-season offensive MVP.
Their district rivals over in Hermleigh have a new coach who will look to revive the program as Heath Gibson takes over the Cardinals.
He takes over a more experienced 2020 squad. Returning starters Stetson and Jonathan Digby both played big roles for the Cardinals in 2019 and sophomore Patrick Carr showed flashes of potential as a freshman in 2019. The Cardinals are playing a lighter schedule, which should allow this young team to compete and win in 2020.
There are still several questions that need to be answered. Local schools are making decisions about fan attendance and other aspects of the gameday experience.
A COVID-19 case on a team could also become an issue and raise questions whether the whole season should be shut down, or if the player and anyone they came in contact with should go into quarantine. Regardless of the outcome, I expect this will be a season that we never forget.
Reed Graff is the sports editor for The Snyder News. Comments on this article can be made to firstname.lastname@example.org