- Advertisement -
Home Sports Coronavirus-related school closings foil high school sports

Coronavirus-related school closings foil high school sports

If the weather cooperated, Oneida was set to face Coalfield for a baseball double-header on Monday, the last scheduled sporting event before high school sports entered a shutdown mode in an effort to stem the growing coronavirus outbreak.

Both local school systems released students at 12:30 p.m. Monday, and classes will not resume until at least April 1. Initially, Oneida schools were cancelled through March 27, while Scott County schools intended to reexamine its situation after March 20. But that changed Monday morning, when Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee called on all schools across the state to close through March 31. As long as schools are closed, sports teams will not be practicing or playing games.

That means baseball, softball and soccer teams, along with track and field, will all become inactive. 

Meanwhile, Oneida High School’s basketball team continues to await final word from the Tennessee Secondary School Athletics Association (TSSAA) on whether the state basketball tournament — originally scheduled to begin Wednesday in Murfreesboro — will be played. TSSAA announced on March 12 that it was suspending the boys tournament and the conclusion of the girls tournament. The Indians, who were to have made their first state tournament appearance in 22 years, were to have played East Robertson on Thursday.

Oneida head coach Jacob King on Friday said that he didn’t intend to hold additional practices while word is awaited from TSSAA, adding that he had talked to other coaches who were taking the same approach.

“How can you practice for something when you don’t know if it’s going to happen?” King said. He added at the time that he would release his players for baseball and soccer if he hadn’t heard final word from TSSAA by Monday. But that became a moot point on Sunday, when both school systems announced their intent to close.

The impact was immediate. Oneida’s soccer team, which picked up a 9-1 win over Clinton in the season-opener on Thursday, was to have faced Anderson County on Tuesday and Sweetwater on Friday. Instead, Indians head coach Derek Keeton said his team would practice on Monday, then be finished until school resumes.

Keeton said on Sunday that he was hoping to resume the season immediately after Oneida’s school closure ended on March 27, if Anderson County was willing to reschedule for Saturday, March 28.

- Story Continues Below -

Join our mailing list

Get headlines delivered directly to your inbox with the Inside Scott Newsletter.

We will not sell or spam your email address.

However, those plans were nixed Monday with the governor’s call for schools to remain closed into the following week.

Scott High soccer, meanwhile, had already seen Monday’s game against Northview Academy canceled after Sevier County Schools closed due to virus concerns. The Highlanders were to have traveled to Clinton on Friday, another game that will be cancelled.

“It’s kind of a jumble,” Highlander head coach Eric Henry said of the rest of the season. “We may be in school and another system out when we had a game scheduled.” 

Henry said there could be a scenario where not all district games will be played, but he remains hopeful that the season will continue after the virus fears have subsided and schools reopen.

“I am a passionate coach of soccer,” he said. “It’s not football or basketball, but I’m very disappointed about the cancellation of school and games. These student-athletes care just as much about their sport as the other popular sports. They work, they train, all the stuff.”

Once classes resume, he said, “I’m going to play every possible game I can.”

Henry said schools have received little guidance from TSSAA so far. The association issued a statement Friday, leaving regular season spring sports matchups to the discretion of each member school.

TSSAA’s board of control is scheduled to meet via conference call on Tuesday. A final decision is expected on the state basketball tournaments at that time, as well as an update on the spring sports calendar moving forward.

- Advertisement -
IH Staff
Contact the Independent Herald at newsroom@ihoneida.com. Follow us on Twitter, @indherald.
- Advertisement -

Stay Connected


Join our mailing list

We will not sell or spam your email address.

The Latest

TN Dept. of Health reports a 12th case of coronavirus in Scott County

The TN Dept. of Health on Friday reported a 12th case of the virus in Scott County — the first new case here since...

Wet weather pattern will soon be history

Friday dawned with yet another threat of scattered rain showers and thunderstorms, as an upper level low pressure system that has been stationed over...

Bandy Creek, Station Camp campgrounds reopening

BANDY CREEK — The National Park Service announced Friday that Bandy Creek Campground and Station Creek Campground in the Big South Fork National River...

Unemployment and Covid-19: A staggering reversal of fortunes

As anticipated, Tennessee's first set of county unemployment rates to take March's coronavirus-inspired business closures and layoffs into account were brutal — double-digit jobless...

Related Stories

Notebook: Sports are canceled, and it sucks

This sucks. I'm sorry, but there's just no other way to put it. So I'll be blunt. We knew it was coming, had ample time to...

What might’ve been … or might yet be

When coronavirus fears hit the United States and social-distancing measures began to be broadly enforced, it placed Oneida's boys basketball team's first state tournament...

TSSAA, please: Let these kids play!

Oneida High School head coach Jacob King said looking into the faces of his team’s four seniors on Friday morning was one of the...

TSSAA to ‘evaluate’ state tournament in light of coronavirus concerns

For the first time in 22 years, both Oneida basketball teams have advanced to the Class A state tournament. But exactly when those games...

A look at Oneida’s substate opponents

In a rarity, both Oneida's boys and girls basketball teams will host substate games in the next few days. Under Tennessee's high school basketball system,...
- Advertisement -