The Plano (Texas) Independent School District threw a wrench in this year’s high school football season schedule by cancelling a planned Sept. 6 game against El Paso Eastwood.
According to a statement from Plano ISD, administrators felt the timing of the game, falling too soon after the Aug. 3 shooting at an El Paso Walmart, was a threat to the safety of participating players and the community.
With the beginning of the high school football season less than three weeks away, Eastwood coach Julio Lopez told the local CBS affiliate that he was scrambling to fill the hole in his team’s schedule.
Plano Senior High School athletic director Jaydon McCullough gave a statement, saying, “Our students and coaches were eager for this opportunity to come together with Eastwood High to promote a message of compassion and healing, but what should be a celebratory event would be encumbered by safety concerns for the participants and fans of both teams.”
On Friday after the cancellations were announced, neighboring Frisco Independent School District superintendent Mike Waldrip reached out to the teams to offer the use of the Dallas Cowboy Star Center as a neutral hosting site for the game.
Plano superintendent Sara Bonser told CBS, “Mike changed the football schedule to accommodate the two districts, knowing that the facility provides the level of security that this unique situation warrants. This game can now occur with all the focus for our students and the excitement of Texas football in a safe environment.”
Ysleta Independent School District has issued a public thank you to Frisco for the new arrangement. The game is scheduled one day earlier than was originally planned, Sept. 5 at 7 p.m. local time.