The ongoing catastrophic weather in Texas’ Gulf Coast has understandably taxed resources across the state to their breaking point. All non-essential travel resources have been culled. That means even Texas’ sacred cows such as high school football travel is facing a serious curtailment, even as it preps for its first game of the season.
As posted to its organization’s Facebook page, the Southlake Carroll (Texas) football program’s much anticipated season opener at Broken Arrow (Okla.) will go on as scheduled on Friday night, but only the football team and its coaches will make the trip after the buses it booked for the excursion were needed in the Houston area and it was only able to access two charter buses from an additional area company after FEMA authorities put in a claim on the transportation that had been scheduled for the school’s band, cheerleaders, drill team and others.
CISD simply does not have enough available air-conditioned buses or drivers to leave for this game and still provide the necessary transportation we need to have school Friday. It takes 10 buses to transport all of our students to these events, and the Broken Arrow game is nearly a five-hour trip by bus. The buses also have to return after the game Friday night and would not be getting in until early morning hours. This is one of the reasons that Charter Buses and licensed drivers are used for extended trips.
Naturally, there are multiple considerations here, far beyond the traditional financial factors that drive such decisions. Southlake Carroll is one of the most famed programs in Texas, playing against an equally respected counterpart north of the border in Oklahoma, but it’s exhibiting an extraordinary amount of self-awareness by not chasing all blind alleys down all available paths in an effort to support its team.
That common sense includes turning down complementary buses that were offered by Broken Arrow officials, in the name of avoiding some 20 hours of driving by the men and women tasked with transporting them back and forth.
The decision has yet to receive negative reactions from any in the Southlake Carroll community, which is remarkable in and of itself and speaks to the sense of unity across Texas as the Houston region guards itself for continued efforts to help the region recover.