In Class 1A, McAdams, near Kosiusko in Attala County, forfeited its game with Lumberton. They were 5-0 and ranked No. When the Yellowjackets finally returned to the field, they lost three straight games, finished with a 5-3 record (including one forfeited loss) and out of the playoffs. Lafayette County is by no means the only high school team grieving this week. The MHSAA reported just over 100 games forfeited during the 10-game regular season. All rights reserved. You have to credit Mississippi Today. Michael Fair holds the State Championship trophy during post-game interview in 2016. The scene was much the same at other schools across the state. Editorial cartoons and photo essays are not included under the Creative Commons license and therefore do not have the "Republish This Story" button option. (WLBT) - The COVID-19 pandemic has shattered dreams of playoff glory for six Mississippi high school football teams. Because of COVID, Starkville didn’t play a game for 21 days and didn’t so much as practice for two full weeks. (WLBT) - The COVID-19 pandemic has shattered dreams of playoff glory for six Mississippi high school football teams. “Coach James was beloved by our players,” Fair said. November 12, 2020 at 10:51 AM CST - Updated November 12 at 12:05 PM. Lafayette County’s season had begun under tragic circumstances. The number of presumed positive coronavirus cases in Mississippi continues to rise. COVID-19 saw to that. 1 in the state before COVID-19 struck. Instead, Fair informed his team that their season had ended as the team gathered for a practice on Tuesday afternoon. Give today and NewsMatch will double the impact of your tax-deductible donation. So far this week, six teams have forfeited Friday night playoff games due to coronavirus … “One of the hardest things I’ve ever done,” said Fair, the former Mississippi State offensive line standout. Rick Cleveland, a native of Hattiesburg and resident of Jackson, has been Mississippi Today’s sports columnist since 2016. Our conditioning wasn’t what it should have been, and I’ve heard a lot of coaches say the same. The teams all have had to take losses, while their scheduled opponents automatically advance to the next round, according to the Mississippi High School Activities Association (MHSAA). The matchups included Lumberton and McAdams high schools in Class 1A; Sumrall and Lawrence County, Mendenhall and McComb, and Clarksdale and Itawamba Agricultural High School in Class 4A; and Neshoba Central and Lafayette, and Pascagoula and Brookhaven in Class 5A. If you’re not able to add the byline, please include a line at the top of the story that reads: “This story was originally published by Mississippi Today” and include our website, You cannot republish our editorial cartoons, photographs, illustrations or graphics without specific permission (contact our managing editor. “It’s not supposed to be this way,” said Lafayette County coach Michael Fair, whose team was set to play Neshoba Central in a Class 5A playoff game on Friday night. To republish online, simply click the button, copy the html code and paste into your Content Management System (CMS). This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. “There were lots of tears. Longtime Lafayette assistant coach Nacoma James, the team’s special teams coordinator, died of COVID-19 on Aug. 6. A graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi with a bachelor’s in journalism, Rick has worked for the Monroe (La.) This article
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and is republished here under a Creative Commons license. All this was as of Wednesday afternoon. “Because of COVID, we didn’t have the summer work you usually get. Mississippi’s public schools teams still playing are shooting for championship weekend to be held at Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium in Jackson on Dec. 4-5. Games begin at 7 p.m. Lumberton (8-1, 8-0), Sumrall (6-6, 2-3), Mendenhall (7-5, 3-2), Itawamba (9-3, 4-1), Neshoba Central (8-1, 4-1) and Pascagoula (7-4, 5-2) all were given bye weeks, according to the activities association. Then, you come back and it’s like starting over and you have to play a team like Clinton, which was really hot at the time. But I feel for all our players. You know, football teams are like a family and we lost a loved one. We prefer “Author Name, Mississippi Today” in the byline. Fair had one player test positive on Saturday, another on Monday and a third on Tuesday. Another 5A playoff game was cancelled when Brookhaven was forced to forfeit to Pascagoula. by Rick Cleveland, Mississippi Today November 11, 2020. Mississippi Today Take 6A powerhouse Starkville, for example. Built with the Largo WordPress Theme from the Institute for Nonprofit News. (https://mississippitoday.org/2020/11/11/the-undisputed-winner-thus-far-in-mississippi-high-school-football-playoffs-covid-19/). We weren’t ready.”. Look for the "Republish This Story" button underneath each story. “It’s just sad.”. He was 42. 208 DeBuys RoadBiloxi, MS 39531(228) 896-1313. Copyright 2020 WLBT. Any web site our stories appear on must include a contact for your organization. He was sports editor of Hattiesburg American, executive director of the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame. On Tuesday, 1,256 new cases and 17 deaths were reported. “He wore a bow tie to school ever Wednesday, so we put a bow tie decal on our helmets this season to honor him. “I know how it feels when it’s out of your hands,” Jones said. His work as a syndicated columnist and celebrated sports writer has appeared in numerous magazines, periodicals and newspapers. “In football, your season is supposed to end on the field.”. According to the Mississippi State Department of Health, 150 students from Lafayette High were in quarantine the week of November 6, while 110 students and four teachers/staff members at Brookhaven High were in quarantine. That made us that much closer, and it makes it that much harder for it to end the way it ended.”. If you share our stories on social media, please tag us in your posts using. By Rick Cleveland, Sports Columnist | November 11, 2020. Not coincidentally, pandemic numbers have soared in Mississippi recently. There will be no state championship for Fair or Lafayette in 2020.