Students need our support

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Sealy, our student-athletes need us now more than ever.

No matter where you fall on the spectrum of COVID-19 opinions, one thing is clear, fall sports are moving forward at the high school level. Under normal circumstances, this would be a traditional right of passage. Under the coronavirus cloud of uncertainty, these kids will be playing with their health and potentially their lives on the line.

I know that sounds alarmist, but the virus affects people differently. Most of these kids probably will not get the virus. Of the ones that do, many will be asymptomatic or have mild symptoms. It is inevitable that as the season progresses that we will hear of student-athletes and coaches across Texas becoming seriously ill or even of some dying from COVID-19. I just hope and pray it isn’t any of our Austin County kids and coaches.

Running under the assumption that the spread of the disease doesn’t bring high school sports to a screeching halt, this fall will be one of the most unique in the history of Texas sports. Between regular testing and the use of health and safety precautions, each week will bring with it the possibility of being the last.

We saw what happened to our student-athletes last spring when everything suddenly shut down. Seniors were robbed of their final year of sports. For some, that was significant in light of potential college scholarships. For all, it has a lasting emotional impact. We do not want this year’s group of seniors to have to experience what last year’s went through.

It is going to be imperative that anyone remotely involved in the lives of these coaches and kids follow the prescribed health and safety guidelines – wear face coverings, wash hands, and keep socially distant. This includes everyone on the field or in the stands. If we want to keep our kids healthy and allow them to have the experience of a lifetime playing the sports they love, then we all must do our part.

This, of course, extends beyond the student-athletes to all those who participate in extra-curricular activities and even to those who will brave the return to classrooms this fall. Students in band, cheerleading, FFA, and numerous other student organizations all want to get the most out of their education and opportunities and we need to afford that to them to the best of our ability while at the same time keeping them safe. It will be a complicated balance but one that is manageable as long as we all cooperate and do what is right.

Here at The Sealy News, we will be doing our utmost to continue a high level of coverage of our students in all their activities. How we do that may look a little different as we strive to respect the pandemic guidelines. When in person at games and events, we will wear masks and keep our distance. More interviews will rely on phones, texts, emails and social media for communication.

Another thing we are doing to help these kids along is to publish our annual Fall Sports Preview. As long as the schools are preparing to play, we are preparing to promote and support them. That’s where we need your support. We can’t do it without advertising. We realize that times are hard and money is tight, but we need our businesses to step up and buy ads to help support our students. Otherwise, the annual keepsake edition will not happen. We also need our proud parents to come forward and buy parent ads to express love and support of their children, grandchildren, nephews and nieces.

We are endeavoring to keep this as affordable as possible and all the information is available on the back page of this paper as well as on our website at www.sealynews.com.

Years from now we will all look back on 2020 as a unique and remarkable time in history. This is a great opportunity to preserve those memories and this record of our coronavirus life. Please don’t miss out on the opportunity to be a part of it and to be a part of positive news for 2020.

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