Texas State preparing for early season opener against SMU during pandemic

Local Sports

SAN MARCOS (KXAN) — With so much uncertainty surrounding the sports world, Texas State is locked in on its season opener against SMU in just over three weeks.

But even the normal things are different during the pandemic.

“You’re still flowing in the same way, but everything’s different in what you do,” head coach Jake Spavital said. “How you turn your loop in after you shower, when you shower and how you shower and how you eat and how you meet with your staff. I still haven’t done a staff meeting in person, but we’re still being as efficient as what we normally would be if we were [in] just the normal times, the times before. It is a weird, awkward time, but we’re still moving forward and progressing. It’s just, there’s a lot of different little tweaks and changes that we have to get used to.”

That opener against the Mustangs is another example of that. The game was moved up a week to August 29 to provide more flexibility with scheduling for both teams.

The game will also provide a chance for the Bobcats to work out all of its game-week testing protocols. But all of training camp is a chance for the team to tweak its safety protocols to ensure it plays as much of the season as possible.

“There’s a lot of discussions, a lot of moving parts and everything that we’ve done in the past has changed,” Spavital said. “It’s not perfect, by any means, on how we’ve approached the COVID protocols, but we work through it all and we make sure that we’re putting out student-athletes in a very safe environment.”

According to Spavital, there haven’t been any positive coronavirus tests since training camp started. He didn’t say whether or not there were any tests during voluntary and mandatory workouts leading up to camp.

There has been one player who opted out of the season as a precautionary move.

“We fully support him,” Spavital said. “Whatever you gotta do to make sure that the family and … the student-athlete are in a good spot. You just make sure you check in with them. We try to help him out and make sure we’re taking them food and doing the right things and still trying to help them in any way.”

Educating the team about the dangers of the coronavirus and the importance of being safe in and outside of the football facility is as much of a focus of training camp as preparing for the season.

“We are doing education every single day with these kids,” Spavital said. “We just have to adapt on the run. They understand that they have to abide by what we’re trying to say. What I just do is try to keep these guys as educated as possible, have a transparency with them where they know exactly where it’s coming, from all lenses, from my opinions, their opinions, the medical professional opinions and making sure we’re all on the same level the same page and doing the right thing.”

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