Plano ISD Cancels Plano-Eastwood Matchup for ‘Safety’ Reasons
Updated at 5:30 p.m MST
In just over three weeks, the Eastwood High School football team was scheduled to drive 650-plus miles to face Plano Senior High School as part of their non-district schedule.
Plano ISD announced today that the matchup between the two schools has been canceled in order to "prioritize the safety of the participating players, students, families and communities." This decision comes just weeks after a former Plano student tragically killed 22 people at the Cielo Vista Wal-Mart on Aug. 3.
"After consulting with local law enforcement agencies, Plano ISD administrators felt obligated to prioritize the safety of the participating players, students, families and communities, and have concluded that the timing of the game falls too soon after the tragedy in El Paso," Plano ISD said in a release.
The two high schools were supposed to play each other in back-to-back years. Plano won 72-48 in a bizarre finish to last year's game and was set to host the Troopers on Sept. 6.
"We are coaches and we want to lay, but we all know that nothing is more important than the safety of our students," said Plano Athletic Director Jaydon McCullough in a statement.
Eastwood was thought to make half of the ticket revenue at the gate, per Corbett Smith of the Dallas Morning News. The Troopers and head coach Julio Lopez will now have to make a last-minute addition for their opponent in week two of their schedule, which is extremely difficult to do just weeks before the season starts.
Ysleta Independent School District is set to release the statement following the cancellation shortly.
The Plano-Eastwood matchup could have been viewed as an important game for both communities to join together on the field and pay respects to the victims, first responders and those affected from the tragic shooting. This seems like a tarnished opportunity to play for something that is much bigger than football.
Further developments between the two school districts sparked a ton of national controversy within hours of the press release sent out.
Further developments, as found by Felix Chavez of the El Paso Times and Matt Stepp of Dave Campbell's Texas Football, show that there might be some sort of compromise between the two teams.
It seems like Garland Naaman Forest, which is now coached by former Del Valle head coach Jesse Perales, might try to swap opponents in week two to have their scheduled opponent (Arlington Lamar) play Plano, while Naaman Forest would possibly face Eastwood.
These talks seem preliminary, but it seems like both YISD and PISD are looking to reach a compromise.