As July continues its slow crawl toward August and the start of school, parents are rounding up the essentials for their students. This year those band campers are going to need one more thing for the marching season — a trip to the doctor.


New University Interscholastic League rules that go into effect on Aug. 1 mandate that anyone entering the first and third years of high school must have a doctor’s physical before that date or they can’t march. It also said seventh and eight graders who participate in marching band must get a physical. Marching band students in the second and fourth years of high school must present a medical history form that is signed by the student and his or her parent.


Grayson County Health Department Director Amanda Ortez said that parents should consult their child’s primary care physician as soon as possible to schedule the physicals.


Nanette Pinckney, director of the Grayson County Health Clinic, said the clinic will be doing free physicals for both athletics and band students from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. on July 20 at 1111 Gallagher Drive in Sherman.


“It is first come first served, so no appointment is necessary,” Pinckney said . “All that is needed is the athletic form and the parents portion completed and signed by the parent,” she added.