By Maurice Patton
Zion Christian Academy officials announced Sunday night that middle school and high school athletic activities will be suspended for the next two weeks for COVID-related reasons.
The high school boys and girls basketball teams were scheduled to open their seasons Tuesday with a doubleheader at Mt. Pleasant, followed by a twinbill Friday at Hampshire. Both games have been postponed indefinitely, as has the Nov. 24 home opener against Culleoka.
“Our board meets with our head of school (Rick Jarvis), and our medical board meets with him as well,” Zion Christian athletics director and high school boys basketball coach Derek Boyd said. “We’re being a little precautionary. We’ve had some teachers out, we’ve had some kids out with contact tracing, which has taken some of our basketball players out.
“We felt this was best for us at this time. I’m in full support of what our board has decided.”
Classes will continue to be conducted in person for Zion Christian high school students.
Boyd said both high school basketball teams would have gone into this week with limited numbers had activities not been suspended.
“We were down to five girls (players) and nine boys going into the upcoming week,” he said. “I love basketball as much as anybody, and we were looking forward to going Tuesday night to Mt. Pleasant, to opening up the season. But now just wasn’t the time.”
Mt. Pleasant girls coach Amy Odom expressed mixed emotions on learning of the decision.
“I understand the reason. I just hate it for our teams,” she said. “My girls were excited for Tuesday, but now it gives us an extra day to prepare for Cornersville (on Thursday).”
Boyd pointed to the pivot by Maury County Public Schools to remote learning for most of its high schools as a factor in Zion Christian’s decision.
“Most of the schools we’d be playing are (MCPS) schools, and cases have risen within the county,” he said. “We can only control what goes on in our gym. Athletically, with the travel to other places, it may not be the best thing.
“This is new territory for everybody. We’re just trying to keep our kids safe.”
Boyd said school officials will re-evaluate the situation after Thanksgiving, with hopes of resuming athletic activities on Nov. 30.
Maurice Patton is the editor for Southern Middle Tennessee Sports. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @mopatton_sports.