Longtime Lafayette assistant coach Nacoma James, the team’s special teams coordinator, died of COVID-19 on Aug. 6. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. “One of the hardest things I’ve ever done,” said Fair, the former Mississippi State offensive line standout. The number of presumed positive coronavirus cases in Mississippi continues to rise. (WLBT) - The COVID-19 pandemic has shattered dreams of playoff glory for six Mississippi high school football teams. According to the Mississippi State Department of Health, 150 students from Lafayette High were in quarantine the week of November 6, while 110 students and four teachers/staff members at Brookhaven High were in quarantine. Six teams across the state have had to cancel post-season games slated for this Friday, due to coronavirus infections. Six teams across the state have had to … Built with the Largo WordPress Theme from the Institute for Nonprofit News. Then, you come back and it’s like starting over and you have to play a team like Clinton, which was really hot at the time. McComb forfeited to Mendenhall. Games begin at 7 p.m. Lumberton (8-1, 8-0), Sumrall (6-6, 2-3), Mendenhall (7-5, 3-2), Itawamba (9-3, 4-1), Neshoba Central (8-1, 4-1) and Pascagoula (7-4, 5-2) all were given bye weeks, according to the activities association. COVID-19 saw to that. Keep up with daily case numbers and view interactive charts describing the trends around the coronavirus in Mississippi. 208 DeBuys RoadBiloxi, MS 39531(228) 896-1313. (https://mississippitoday.org/2020/11/11/the-undisputed-winner-thus-far-in-mississippi-high-school-football-playoffs-covid-19/). Because of COVID, Starkville didn’t play a game for 21 days and didn’t so much as practice for two full weeks. Republish our articles for free, online or in print, under a Creative Commons license. Rick has been recognized 12 times as Mississippi Sports Writer of the Year, and is recipient of multiple awards and honors for his reporting and writing. In Class 4A, three of eight playoffs games scheduled have been cancelled due to COVID-19. Rick Cleveland, a native of Hattiesburg and resident of Jackson, has been Mississippi Today’s sports columnist since 2016. The state’s average number of daily COVID-19 cases surpassed 900 for the first time in three months. He was 42. “It’s just sad.”. To republish online, simply click the button, copy the html code and paste into your Content Management System (CMS). Lawrence County forfeited to Sumrall. Jones was the first person to reach out to Lafayette County’s Fair when he heard the news about Lafayette having to forfeit Friday night’s playoff game. And then when it hit us in October, we had to quarantine and we couldn’t even practice. Last week, Puckett forfeited to Bogue Chitto in 2A, and Shannon forfeited to West Lauderdale in 4A. “I know it’s been a tough year for everybody, and some of it is things you don’t even think about,” Jones said. “It’s not supposed to be this way,” said Lafayette County coach Michael Fair, whose team was set to play Neshoba Central in a Class 5A playoff game on Friday night. Our conditioning wasn’t what it should have been, and I’ve heard a lot of coaches say the same. The teams all have had to take losses, while their scheduled opponents automatically advance to the next round, according to the Mississippi High School Activities Association (MHSAA). He was sports editor of Hattiesburg American, executive director of the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame. Many teams’ seasons were ravaged before the regular season ended and the playoffs began. A graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi with a bachelor’s in journalism, Rick has worked for the Monroe (La.) “There were lots of tears. Lafayette County is by no means the only high school team grieving this week. “I know how it feels when it’s out of your hands,” Jones said. Another 5A playoff game was cancelled when Brookhaven was forced to forfeit to Pascagoula. The matchups included Lumberton and McAdams high schools in Class 1A; Sumrall and Lawrence County, Mendenhall and McComb, and Clarksdale and Itawamba Agricultural High School in Class 4A; and Neshoba Central and Lafayette, and Pascagoula and Brookhaven in Class 5A. You know, football teams are like a family and we lost a loved one. You have to credit Mississippi Today.