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Our world has changed dramatically since Refugio wrapped up the 2019 season with a 28-7 victory over Post to claim the Class 2A, Division I state championship.

As we left AT&T Stadium in Arlington on that chilly December night, we had no idea what the future held.

The COVID-19 pandemic forced the UIL to shut down athletics in March, and the 2020 football season was in doubt until the UIL gave the go ahead in July.

Teams in Classes 4A and below are allowed to play their first games this weekend, while Classes 5A and 6A are allowed to start the season Sept. 24-25.

TAPPS teams will follow the guidelines for Class 5A and 6A schools.

Of course, nothing is certain. A number of area teams have had to readjust their schedules and some have lost games.

Some teams have had to halt workouts because of a positive COVID test. Victoria Faith Academy has elected not to play this season.

Games will be played in stadiums with limited crowds, and game routines for teams will change.

As we begin a season of uncertainty, our staff of Rey Castillo and Tyler Tyre, with help from Kevin Alstrom, Billie Garcia and others will continue to do our best to cover the area beginning with this edition of Kickoff 2020 in Thursday’s Victoria Advocate.

We hope to be back with our weekly preview show, The Grid, usually Thursday on Facebook live.

We’ll have game reports at AdvoSports.com, the Advocate’s e-Edition, and in Sunday’s edition of the Advocate.

We’re asking schools to assist us by sending their game stats and reports to sports@vicad.com on Friday nights, and by sending cumulative season stats each week to mforman@vicad.com.

The Built Ford Tough High School Player of the Week will be awarded each week again this season and coaches should send nominations to mforman@vicad.com. Nominations are needed Saturday.

If all goes well, a state champion in Classes 1A through 4A will be crowned sometime between Dec. 16-19, and in Classes 5A and 6A sometime between Jan. 11-16. TAPPS will crown its state champions between Dec. 11-12.

Mike Forman is the sports editor of the Victoria Advocate. Contact him at 361-580-6588 or by email at mforman@vicad.com. Follow him on Twitter at @mikeforman21

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Mike Forman is the sports editor of the Victoria Advocate. He has worked at the Advocate since 1982. He has a bachelor's degree from SMU and a master's degree from UCLA.

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