Minutes after being forced to pull the plug on the regular season, West Ouachita head coach Matt Middleton could utter just one phrase, "What a year."
One week after being down seven players that receive "significant" playing time against Ruston, Middleton received more bad news of players entering quarantine due to contact tracing. He felt he had no other choice but to cancel Thursday's contest against Alexandria Senior High as result.
"To be honest, it was more about we can't line up rather than it being a safety issue," Middleton said. "We've dealt with kids being out before. We've had kids out every single week, but we've made due. I have two or three positions on the field that I can't line up at. Some might say, well just put other players in that position, but we're playing tomorrow. That's not enough time to get a kid to go both ways."
The LHSAA is allowing the option for schools that miss the playoffs to play a bowl game in the postseason. Should West Ouachita miss the playoffs — the Chiefs were No. 36 in GeauxPreps.com's unofficial rankings Wednesday — Middleton said he would look for a bowl opponent to play this postseason.
"I'll be on the horn as much as I can to try and find (an opponent)," Middleton said. "I'm looking for finality. It's been a rough year for these seniors."
West Ouachita ends the regular season with a 2-3 record.