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1,300 students expected to travel to Austin, Decatur games

By Bayne Hughes · 340-2432

Principals are expecting about half of the student bodies at Austin and Decatur high schools to be in the stands cheering when basketball teams take the court in state competition Thursday and Friday.

If both teams make it to the final event, then the crowd will swell.

The estimated 1,300 students do not include middle and elementary school students whose parents check them out to attend the games.

The unlucky ones will be doing work assignments and projects at school.

“It’s very difficult to have class,” said Decatur Principal Mike Ward.

Austin Principal Don Snow is worried about a fast-moving weather system that is forecast to bring high winds and thunderstorms ahead of a cold front Thursday.

He is encouraging students to pay $10 to ride a bus due to safety concerns. Austin’s game against Jeff Davis in the Class 6A semifinals begins at 10:30 a.m. He thinks about 700 of his 1,500 students will be in the stands.

Superintendent Sam Houston said three busloads of students have signed up to ride to the game so far.

He said school officials are urging parents to require other students to ride buses to Thursday’s game as well.

Principal Mike Ward is pushing a $6 bus ride for students who want to see the Red Raiders play John Carroll on Friday at 10:30 a.m. in the Class 5A semifinals.

Students at both schools have to be in “good standing” to attend extracurricular activities, and they need parental permission to attend the games. Each student attending the game must physically hand his permission slip to a designated school official to verify attendance.

The Class 5A and Class 6A finals are Saturday.

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