Ferriday High and Vidalia High have canceled their basketball seasons.
Veteran Ferriday Lady Trojan girls coach Lisa Abron said a lot of factors went into the decision after principals and coaches met to discuss the COVID-19 situation.
In a letter to Louisiana High School Athletic Association Commisioner Eddie Bonine, Vidalia principal Bernie Cooley informed the LHSAA that Vidalia girls and boys are opting out of their seasons.
"The number of cases in Concordia Parish and Vidalia continues to rise and our Coaches and Administrators are concerned about the health risks posed with an indoor sport at this time," Cooley stated in the letter. "Our gym has very tight quarters without much of a sideline which would impact not only our players on inbounds plays, but also our fans. We will be continuing basketball in future years with the mitigation of COVID-19."
Vidalia and Ferriday had originally canceled games up to January 5, 2021 before pulling the plug on the season.
"We've been in quarantine two times and I don't see it getting any better any time soon," Abron said. "The LHSAA gave us the opportunity to opt out. It's just not a good fit for us. Our gym is very small. We would not be making any money so that would be more financial problems. But the main thing is the safety of our players. I could not forgive myself if anything happened to one of my players or one of their family members, not to mention any of my family members."
Vidalia High boys coach Damus Smith, who is in his first year as head coach after Robert Sanders retired, said the decision had to do with health and safety.
"Life is more important than winning a game," Smith said. "The biggest thing and what bothered us the most is allowing kids to play basketball in a gym without ventilation wihtout wearing a mask, playing kids from other schools who you do not know are following the right protocol. And our bleachers are set where they are right on top of the teams. It really scared me when our football team came back from a playoff game (at St. Helena) and had to go into quarantine. And that was outside. Some of our kids and Ferriday's kids are being raised by grandparents and we just don't want to take that risk. I hate it for our seniors and other players. They are having to go through as the baseball and softball seniors back in March. We'll just all be glad when we can get back to normal."
Monterey High boys and girls coach Eric Richard said the Wolves and Lady Wolves will continue playing their schedule until told otherwise.
"Ferriday and Vidalia have football," Richard said. "This is our football. We're going to do everything possible to play until we are given a mandate not to. We follow all the safety guidelines, and make sure everyone is following protocol."
Monterey plays at Larto on January 5.
Delta Charter girls basketball coach Ronald Ellis said the Storm and Lady Storm will continue their seasons.
"We're doing everything to stay safe and taking it day by day," Ellis said.
Delta Charter opens district play January 5 at Oak Grove.