El Paso High vs Irvin on October 23rd. | Photo by Bill Coon

El Paso, Socorro, Canutillo ISDs pause athletics, fine arts activities in light of Covid-19 surge

After a weekend announcement of curfew, fines and other new, stricter guidelines to combat the surge of Covid-19 cases in the region, area school districts began postponing high school sports for the foreseeable future.

El Paso ISD was the first to officially make the decision, releasing the following statement:

Following a recommendation from County of El Paso officials in response the drastic spike in COVID-19 cases in the region, the El Paso Independent School District will suspend athletic, fine arts and all other extracurricular activities until further notice.

EPISD, in collaboration with other Districts in the region, made the decision to stop practices, games and performances as the city copes with an alarming increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.

“We understand that sports and extracurricular activities are an important part of the student experience, but it has become abundantly clear that the health and safety of our community are at stake at this moment,” said Superintendent Juan E. Cabrera. “We will continue to work with health officials and the University Interscholastic League to determine what steps to take, if any, for the continuation and conclusion of the athletic and performing seasons.”

Practices for students who are enrolled in courses associated with athletics or other extracurricular activity may continue virtually in order to meet grading requirements set by the District.

The cancelation of practices until further notice also includes off season sports and extracurricular activities.

EPISD last week announced that middle-school athletics and extra-curricular activities had been canceled for the rest of the fall semester.

Canutillo ISD followed suit a few hours later, releasing the following statement:

In response to the significant increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in the region and following El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego’s recommendation, the Canutillo Independent School District will suspend athletic, fine arts and all other extracurricular activities until further notice.

Monday afternoon, tweets and social media posts from coaches and athletic directors began circulating the news, ahead of official announcements from the individual districts.

JJ Calderon, Athletic Director for the region’s second largest school district Socorro ISD, tweeted out that his district was ‘pausing all high school athletics/fine arts programs per Judge Samaniego’s recommendations.”

El Paso ISD’s Jefferson High School Football Head Coach Tony Martinez simply said ‘God willing, we will return soon.’

As the official releases are received, we will share them here.

Tweet from SISD Athletic Director JJ Calderon
Tweet by Jefferson Silver Foxes Coach Tony Martinez