UPDATED (2:09 PM, FRIDAY) — 11 more Week 2 games have been cancelled across Tennessee high school football due to COVID-19, bringing the total to 30 contests.
The latest Middle Tennessee game to be cancelled on Friday was Summertown-Wayne County
The following games won't be played:
Stewarts Creek-East Nashville
South Pittsburg-Chattanooga Christian
Bledsoe County-Moore County
Chattanooga Central-Franklin County
Meigs County-Kings Academy
Red Boiling Springs-Tennessee Heat
Jackson County-York Institute
Daniel Boone-West Ridge
Lake County-Obion County
Warren County-White County
Stewart County-Gibson County
Copper Basin-Fannin County (GA)
Freedom Prep-MLK Prep
Northview Academy-West Greene
ORIGINAL — What started with a few games Tuesday turned into a snowball of COVID-related football cancelations, less than two weeks into the 2021 season.
By early Wednesday evening, 17 games had been impacted including the cancelation of Nashville-area matchups between Gallatin-Blackman and Smyrna-Rockvale.
Gallatin and Smyrna were both forced to pull out due to issues with COVID-19 within their teams. Gallatin will attempt a replacement game Oct. 8, according to the team’s Twitter account.
Seven of other canceled games are from the Chattanooga area: South Pittsburg-Chattanooga Christian, Bledsoe County-Moore County, Ooltewah-Red Bank, Hixson-Notre Dame, Chattanooga Central-Franklin County, Meigs County-Kings Academy and Whitwell-Huntland.
Others are: Hampton-Johnson County, Red Boiling Springs-Tennessee Heat, East-Hickman-Camden, Jackson County-York Institute, Daniel Boone-West Ridge, Rhea County-Elizabethton, Lake County-Obion County and Warren County-White County.
The disruptions occurred the same day Tennessee surpassed 1 million COVID cases since its first counted case in March 2020. The virus’ rapidly moving delta variant has spurred a recent increase, pushing the state’s hospitalization numbers toward highs unseen since January.
The Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association anticipated there would be changes to sports schedules, going as far to update its COVID forfeiture policy before the season to reflect things learned last year.
Schools must first try to make up the game. If they can’t, the opposing team will receive a win for seeding purposes. The forfeiting team will not receive a loss.
In football, if the visiting team this year forfeits due to COVID it will serve as the visiting team again with the opposing school next year.
The cancelations have left teams looking for games at the last minute.
When COVID cases decreased early this summer, many people were confident the 2021 season would bring more normalcy — at least compared to last year when Metro Nashville Public Schools began the season weeks late and other schools started slow due to postponements and cancelations.
In June, the TSSAA said it would shape its virus-related guidance for schools based on a conversation with members of Gov. Bill Lee’s staff. The two sides ultimately never met, TSSAA executive director Bernard Childress said last week.
The TSSAA sent a memo to schools in July encouraging schools to create their own policies regarding COVID, and in the absence of a policy, they should follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations for face coverings, social distancing and quarantine measures.