Column: COVID impacts the story

Published 7:16 am Sunday, August 29, 2021

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The most challenging opponent for fall sports this year is not the heat, hurricanes, or the team on the other side of the field. Instead, it is COVID-19 and its delta variant as it wreaks havoc on local football schedules.

Franklin County was double-teamed by cancelations this week. West Lincoln and Bay Springs had to back out due to COVID quarantine at the schools, so the Bulldogs had their first game canceled in two years.

Wilkinson County High School was going to play Natchez High School in a season opener showdown in Natchez. Wednesday, the school confirmed it had to miss Friday night’s game because they entered virtual instruction.

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Cathedral’s soccer team missed key players to quarantine this week, head coach Dennis Hogue said. The Green Wave dropped games to Laurel Christian and Laurel. He said the missing players could have made an impact on the outcome of the games.

Ferriday has missed four weeks of practices this summer because of COVID quarantines for their football team.

At some point, COVID will stop influencing the narrative of our community and athletics. Until it ends, it will continue to have an impact on teams and athletes.

Thursday night, I called my mom and talked to her about work and how the COVID situation has impacted the games I would cover. I asked her if she ever thought the pandemic would end. She said, ‘How do you know when it ends.’

There are no innings, no halves, no quarters or miles to determine how long we have until this pandemic is over. Maybe we are a key play away, getting the vaccine, from it coming to an end. Perhaps we are in the middle of the fifth inning with plenty of medical baseball to be played.

Whether we like it or not, COVID is still here, and it is still impacting the athletes of our community.

I need the communities to help in telling these stories. If you hear of athletes quarantining or canceled games, please reach out to the sports desk. As a writer, COVID should not be the entire story, but it still plays a part in them.