Carthage head coach Scott Surratt talks with his players on the sidelines. He and the Bulldogs won their seventh state championship with a win over Waco La Vega in 2019.

Carthage Head Football Coach Scott Surratt had to scramble to fill up his non-district schedule after the realignment back in February.

Now he’s scrambling to find three teams to play in the first four weeks of the season after the UIL’s announcement earlier this week that pushed the starting dates back for the fall semester in Class 6A and 5A.

The Dawgs will face former district foe Kilgore in the opener instead of having a scrimmage against the Bulldogs.

Surratt is still looking for two more games as the UIL announcement cancelled games with Crosby and Marshall in weeks 1 and 3, while a similar announcement by TAPPS wiped out Week 2 foe San Antonio Cornerstone.

Carthage was originally scheduled to have a bye in Week 4.

The Bulldogs aren’t the only Class 4A school that is having problems because of the UIL announcement.

Mexia is a Class 4A team that doesn’t play any 5A or 6A teams, but because of a McLennan County order, no schools in the county can have any in-person activities until Sept. 7. That means they can’t play their first game until Sept. 24, the same time 5A and 6A schools can start and they only have two games before district.

The Bulldogs’ varsity, JV and freshman team will pick up their equipment next week at the fieldhouse.

Seniors will pick up their equipment on Wednesday from 9 to 11 a.m.

Juniors will report Thursday from 9 to 11 a.m. to get their equipment, while sophomores will get theirs from 1 to 3 p.m. Freshmen will pick their equipment on Friday from 9 to 11 a.m.

Beckville coach likes UIL changes

Count Beckville Coach Cody Ross as one who likes the ruling, although being in Class 2A his team wasn’t affected by it.

“I’m excited about what they did,” Ross said. “But it’s like I told some of my buddies who are at the bigger schools, ‘It was a no-win situation for the UIL.’ The bigger schools were making the call to start late because they were in the areas where most of the pandemic cases are. We weren’t punished for not being in a populated area.

“The good news is that everybody is going to get to play, for right now.”

Neither Beckville nor Carthage had anyone miss summer workouts or have to be sent home because they were symptomatic

But because they were able to hold summer workouts, they only get to have one scrimmage.

The Bearcats will practice mornings from 7:30 to noon beginning Aug. 3 for the first four days. Then they will put on the pads Friday and practice “Under the Lights.”

They will switch to afternoon workouts the second week.