EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) — Nine months into the COVID-19 pandemic, athletic programs all across the country are finding new ways to adapt to challenges caused by the virus.
High school athletic programs have faced several virus-related issues during that time. Some local programs have had to suspend workouts, quarantine players and cancel games.
Eastwood High School Head Football Coach Julio Lopez said it felt like teams were no longer only battling opponents, but also battling the virus. With the playoffs still ahead, Eastwood now plans to move playoff games to Fort Stockton to avoid local health restrictions and allow families of players to watch the game. Socorro ISD is also working with UIL to allow for the livestream of the playoff games.
College athletics have been impacted by the virus too. Several historic Borderland football games have been canceled as a result of the pandemic, including the Sun Bowl. The cancellation marks the first time in eight decades the game will not be played.
The pandemic also meant the historic Battle of I-10 could not be played between the UTEP and New Mexico State.
The athletic directors of both schools say they want to prevent their men's basketball rivalry to suffer the same fate and actively working to find a suitable date to play.
One of the challenges to make it happen is that NMSU is now practicing in Arizona due to New Mexico’s health restrictions.
You can watch the entire conversation on ABC-7 Xtra in the media module above.