By DAVID LOPEZ & GAIGE DAVILA
The Rio Hondo Bobcat and Port Isabel Tarpon Varsity Football programs, both in 16-4A Division II, will only be playing three games this season: against each other and Raymondville ISD, competing only for third place in the district.
Meanwhile, four of the other five teams in the district’s north zone began playing last Friday. There are no restrictions from their local leaders as there are in Cameron County. These include Corpus Christi West Oso, Ingleside, Robstown, Rockport-Fulton, and Sinton, all playing for first, second, and fourth places in district play.
An emergency order from Cameron County Judge Eddie Treviño Jr. does not allow athletics to resume until in-person instruction begins, which must be after September 28, according to the order.
RHISD Athletic Director and Head Football Coach Rocky James said the situation has been tough on his team.
“It’s the logical thing to do, but it’s just hard to swallow that you don’t play for a district title, and it’s tough all the way around,” he said. “A lot of people are going to be going through it. Ours is as bad as it can get.”
The Rio Hondo Bobcats are set to scrimmage against Mercedes, play the Tarpons at home, and play the Bearkats on the road.
James said the lack of games comes from the UIL rules across the state of Texas. When beginning live football, teams must allow the first week for strength and conditioning and the second week for acclimation. The third week allows a scrimmage, and it is not until the fourth week that a team can hold an actual game.
So far, La Joya ISD and Ben Bolt-Palito Blanco ISD, which plays RGV schools, are the only two schools in South Texas to cancel its entire schedule of fall sports.
Editor’s note: This article has been edited for length. To read the full story, click here or grab a copy of the Sept. 4–10, 2020 issue of the NEWS.