When the COVID-19 pandemic broke out in March, all sorts of questions entered my mind when it came to local sports.
I raised some of those issues in previous columns, but I figured as the days, weeks and months progressed; we would have a much better idea of the direction for 2020-21 sports in Coahoma County.
As it turns out, it is quite the opposite.
Here we are in the last full week of June2020 and there are more questions than ever.
Only some of those questions stem from the coronavirus.
We still do not know how things will play out for the upcoming football season in the MHSAA, MAIS and JUCO. The good news is teams are starting to practice, but they must be extra careful with social distancing and sanitation. We still do not know how the fan base will be able to see the games.
Will games be seen virtually or will there be social distancing rules for those able to attend?
Each league’s rules will be a little bit different.
There are many unanswered questions for baseball and softball at Coahoma Community College since the seasons did not take place. Will the team have more players who are eligible? How was recruiting impacted since the CCC coaches were unable to see athletes play their senior years.
We will attempt to answer these questions in the coming days and weeks.
However, as I stated above, issues we face in local sports go way beyond the coronavirus.
Let’s start with Coahoma Early College High School.
It appears CECHS will no longer have an athletic program as the school is changing into a true early college format.
Most of the athletes who would have played for CECHS will probably at Coahoma County Red Panthers. Some will be Clarksdale Wildcats.
The Tigers and Red Panthers football programs were fighting for playoff spots year after year. It is possible consolidating the two rosters could make a better team than ever.
I know many people are not happy about the changes at CECHS, but bringing athletes together could still make a much better team. The drawback, of course, is the Red Panthers may wind up being in a tougher division.
Basketball could be very exciting at Coahoma County High School.
Unfortunately, the Red Panthers received a recent scare when coach Derrick Moore and his brother, assistant coach Daryl Moore, received letters of termination.
The good news, as you see in today’s Press Register, is the Moore brothers were able to sit down and talk with Coahoma County School interim superintendent Dr. Ilean Richards, work out their differences and get reinstated.
Derrick and Daryl are not just good coaches, they are quality educators. Both teach math.
Athletes gravitate to them on the basketball court. It is no accident the Red Panthers have won Class 2A state championships three out of the past four seasons.
The Lady Red Panthers continue to knock on the door and come so close to winning championships. They have been state runner-up two of the past four seasons.
Baseball and softball should be very interesting at CCHS.
Coahoma Early College High School did not have baseball and softball programs for several years. I could never understand that when fields were right there on campus. CCC plays on those fields year after year.
Nevertheless, one positive is, for the first time in a long time, every high school athlete will have the opportunity to play baseball and softball.
I do not know how this will translate on the field at CCHS, but I am always for kids having every opportunity possible to build on their skills and succeed.
There will definitely be a lot of enthusiasm at CCHS for the upcoming school year.
In fact, since athletes did not receive awards, members of the community put together a grassroots effort to raise money. A special awards ceremony for Red Panthers will be at 3 p.m. Saturday at Nosef Park.
Everyone is encouraged to wear a mask and social distance.
I do not know what will happen when it comes to sports in the near future.
I do believe 2020-21 will be one more the more interesting years we will ever see with high school and junior college athletics.