With the first day of school around the corner in Calhoun County, so too is the return of sports.

The Calhoun Sports season kicks off with the Sandies Varsity Volleyball team in a tri-matchup against St Joseph and Industrial.

Sandies Head Coach Jenna Buzek enters her second year with the team, and she talked about playing the upcoming season while under a pandemic.

“It’s been kind of crazy, but it’s kind of been better because we’ve been able to have the girls every day,” Buzek said. “Whereas opposed to the past, you would maybe get a couple of days or a couple of hours.”

Buzek talked about the different preparation this year from last year with the COVID-19 pandemic affecting Texas.

“I feel like we’re a little more prepared. We can’t do everything that we’ve been wanting to do just because of having to stay six feet apart, and our hitting line has to stay spread out,” Buzek said, “but as for the girls, they’ve been coming up here, and we’ve been practicing as best we can under the circumstances.”

Buzek said her players are happy to be back together.

“We couldn’t do anything at all at the end of the school year, and that’s usually when we go hard with volleyball in the offseason,” Buzek said.

Her players have been at the school every day, working out and practicing volleyball, Buzek added.

“It’s been a great summer with them and their work ethic…I think they are just ready to play,” Buzek said. “I pray that we do get to play, just for these girls who are putting in the effort and all the kids around the state of Texas. It’s not fair that something like this has happened.”

Buzek talked about the recent safety guidelines from the UIL, and she said if players are less than six feet apart, they have to wear a mask and added that she and her players have been performing drills where they have to wear a mask.

“Just basically that, staying six feet apart, not getting too close,” Buzek said. “Even when they take water breaks, they have to be spread out.”

As a coach, Buzek said, instead of saying, “hustle, let’s go, and things like that,” she is saying, “spread out and stay away from people.”

She added that her coaching “verbiage” is changing a little due to the pandemic.

Athletic Director Richard Whitaker has been monitoring the COVID-19 situation and informing and updating his coaches of any information handed out from the UIL.

“He is the main enforcer coming around keeping the coaches on their toes to keep the girls on their toes,” Buzek said. “So he is following it, and anytime there’s a change, he’ll text us and tell us how we’re going to make those changes…it’s been good to have him help us to kind of understand these rules.”

With the season around the corner, Buzek has been monitoring the first tri-match between St. Joe and Industrial to determine whether there will be a game or not.

“Like I keep telling the girls every time we leave here [from practice]. We kinda talked, and I said we’re just gonna keep going as if we’re gonna get going [for the season],” Buzek said.

She added the UIL hasn’t put any restrictions on the games, and they told her the season is starting August 3.

“Do I think that something is coming? Yes, but it hasn’t yet,” Buzek said, “so we have to prepare for what they told us, so we’re are prepared for two days on August 3, and we are going to go hard that week.”