Argyle coach Russell Perkins was at practice with his team in San Antonio on Thursday afternoon when he got the call.
Due to growing concerns over COVID-19 (coronavirus), the UIL had just indefinitely suspended the boys basketball state tournament.
"Our kids are pretty upset, but they understand because of what's going on in our country and the world," Perkins said. "They knew there was a chance this could happen. They're resilient kids who know what's going on, and they understand what's more important sometimes than basketball."
The Eagles were scheduled to play Stafford at 1:30 p.m. on Friday in the Class 4A semifinal. Perkins also said his team had a shootaround at the Alamodome slated for 5 p.m. Thursday.
Instead, Argyle is now headed back home.
The UIL announced it was suspending the remainder of the state tournament at 2:04 p.m. on Thursday.
Both Class A semifinal games on Thursday morning were played. The UIL said both Class 3A semifinal games would be played on Thursday afternoon, and at the conclusion, the tournament would be suspended.
It is not immediately clear if the remaining games will be rescheduled.
"In our minds it's just a postponement," Perkins said. "We don't know how it's going to work. In a few weeks everything could get ironed out about what's going on, and then maybe the teams will get together and play somewhere. Hopefully that will happen."
The news comes after President Donald Trump addressed the nation regarding COVID-19 from the Oval Office on Wednesday night. It also comes after the NBA, NHL and MLS announced they were suspending their seasons.
The NCAA also canceled its remaining winter and spring championships on Thursday afternoon, which includes both men's and women's basketball tournaments.
Perkins said in light of what is happening around the country, he believes wholeheartedly that the UIL made the correct decision.
"I think they are very wise in taking care of kids," Perkins said. "They tried to do as much as possible to make it safe for them to play, but when they realized it isn't the best thing, they made the decision. We support that and want to help with that the best we can.
The following is the press release the UIL sent out on Thursday afternoon.
Due to growing concerns over COVID-19 (coronavirus), the remainder of the UIL Boys State Basketball Tournament is suspended until further notice. This decision is effective upon the conclusion of the 3A session on March 12, 2020.
Fans who purchased tickets for the postponed games will be issued full refunds at point of sale or from the school they purchased their tickets from. Fans who purchased All Tournament tickets will be issued a full refund.
Argyle was scheduled to play Stafford at 1:30 p.m. Friday.
“After much consultation with government and health officials, we have made the difficult decision to postpone the remainder of the UIL State Basketball Tournament,” said UIL Executive Director Dr. Charles Breithaupt, “Our number one priority remains the well-being of our student-athletes and spectators and we are taking every possible precaution to keep them safe.”
As this is a fluid situation, the UIL will continue to follow the direction of local officials to monitor this situation and will make additional announcements as needed. Please continue to check the UIL website and social media accounts for further updates.