COVID cancels games for Miss-Lou schools
Published 5:07 pm Friday, January 7, 2022
VIDALIA, La. — COVID-19 canceled the 2020-2021 basketball season for Vidalia and Ferriday, and now the omicron varian is wreaking havoc with the 2021-2022 season.
Vidalia’s girls’ team is in quarantine and may not return to the basketball court until Jan. 18. Ferriday’s girls’ team is also in quarantine. They may return next week depending on how many players have been vaccinated and can test negative for COVID.
It’s a predicament for Vidalia head coach Tema Larry, who is recovering from COVID, and Ferriday’s Lisa Abron. Their teams are already suffering effects from missing a year of basketball, and the Lady Vikings returned only one veteran player.
“I’m still trying to heal, and the girls are quarantined. Some of them will return sooner due to when they were tested and other factors,” Larry said. “We will come back with a positive attitude and try to keep growing. Anything can happen in a season, but I didn’t expect it. I’m also vaccinated, and a lot of my players are vaccinated too. It’s probably the biggest shocker to me.”
Even the Vidalia boys who have been able to play basketball without any setbacks to their scheduling may feel the effects of COVID. Missed playing time last season may have a bearing on Vidalia’s struggles, said head coach Damus Smith. Most of his juniors missed their sophomore year of basketball, but he still believes they have to come out ready to play.
Ferriday’s Lady Trojans have played good basketball up until now. They had a good showing at the Sicily Island tournament last week. The Lady Trojans were set to resume play against Madison Parish when COVID sidelined them.
As of Friday, they had three players return with negative COVID tests. It is not enough players for them to play, Abron said. They had a game against Tensas Parish scheduled for Monday, but it was canceled due to COVID cases on the Tensas team, she said.
During the quarantine, she has suggested her girls go for a run or shoot a couple of baskets outside to stay in basketball shape. Right now, it is kind of a waiting game to see how the situation develops.
“I have encouraged my girls, and I check in on them daily,” Abron said. “The COVID situation is getting really bad, and I think the fact we are indoors and playing a contact sport is scary. I just don’t know.”
Natchez Athletic Director Alphaka Moore decided to cancel Natchez’s non-district game against Ferriday on Friday night due to COVID concerns. Ferriday’s athletic director Abron said she might suggest Ferriday does the same before district play begins.
For Natchez, it was the last non-district game they had. District play opens against Brookhaven Tuesday.
“Covid numbers are rising, and we are close to district play,” Moore said. “We did not want anything to happen, so we decided to cancel. Those district games really count.”