Ray Baca is the head coach of Caynon, the defending back-to-back UIL 4A girl state cross country champions and the 2019 UIL 4A girls track and field state champions. Baca also serves as Executive Director of the Cross Country Coaches Association of Texas (CCCAT).
Over the course of this season, his Canyon program will host five meets including a large meet on October 2-3. Over the weekend, the executed one of those meets, a small meet giving some of the smaller West Texas cross country programs an early season competition.
The meet also served as a dry run for the coming meets and a chance for Canyon to perfect the most recent UIL released COVID guidelines. Restrictions regarding team entries, starting lines, finish lines, and spectators were all implemented.
There's a lot of things we have to change right now just to make it all happen.
Ray Baca, Canyon Coach and CCCAT Executive Director
Being a head coach and the executive director of the coaches association, Baca is well versed with guidelines and the adaptations coaches and meet directors have to make. He said, "There's a lot of things we have to change right now just to make it all happen."
Now having gotten his feet wet and and having a chance to evaluate the performances and preparations of his staff and the program's volunteers, he knows what worked and what improvements to make for the upcoming meets.
Baca also realizes that just because the season has started, the 2020 cross country season necessarily isn't guaranteed to see the championship season materialize. The responsibility doesn't just fall on the meet directors and coaches; the big picture will have outside influences other than the cross country community. However, Baca believes everyone in the community has to do their part, "If we just take care of our business and (wear) our masks," we'll be just fine.
"I just hope that cross country teams across the state and everybody does that. If we can keep doing the little things I think we'll be just fine."