Winter Storm Causes Sports Chaos/by Elliot Reeder
When we embarked a few weeks ago on this very busy semester, we knew that there would be schedule changes forced by COVID-19, but we did not expect a whole week of action to be wiped out by a winter storm.
It delayed the start of some seasons, it postponed some games, and cancelled games altogether. Much like school, it was touch and go from day to day on whether games would happen, so let’s look at the impact of this winter storm that knocked out a full week of in-person classes and altered numerous athletic events.
Arguably the biggest impact was the postponement of the GSC Indoor Track & Field Championship. It was originally scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 16, but it was postponed with the men’s and women’s teams already in Birmingham (the teams had been able to compete on Feb. 13 at the Samford Invitational in Birmingham). After a few days of deliberation, the championship meet was rescheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 24.
The women’s basketball team was set to take on West Alabama on Feb. 12-13. That two-game set was then pushed back to Feb. 13-14. The teams were able to play on the 13th with the Lady Choctaws falling 52-44 after a rough second half. After that, though, they were unable to play the second game as the weather forced a postponement. The Lady Choctaws were then set to take on rival Delta State (whom they swept in a two-game series earlier in the season) on Feb.19-20, but those games were postponed as well.
The men’s basketball team was looking to make their return to the court on Feb. 19-20 against Delta State (after their previous six games were postponed due to COVID-19 protocols), but those two games against the rival Statesmen were also postponed.
The men’s and women’s soccer teams were set to open up their season the weekend of Feb. 13-14 at home against Christian Brothers. After some reshuffling of the schedule that weekend, both games were ultimately postponed. The men’s game was rescheduled for Feb. 23, and the women’s game for Feb. 24. Also, the men’s team was scheduled to face off with Union on Feb. 18, but that game has been postponed to a later date. The women’s soccer team was also scheduled to play Alabama-Huntsville on Feb. 18, but that match was pushed back several days to Feb. 21.
The Lady Choctaw softball team had a turbulent weekend on Feb. 12-13. They were originally scheduled to play four games at the McGhee/Hawkins Invitational which included matchups with two top-5 teams in Division II at the time (Angelo State and Southern Arkansas). That tournament was cancelled on Feb. 10. The Lady Choctaws were able to turn around later that day and find two replacement games to take place in Alabama as they scheduled games for Feb. 12 against 6th-ranked Young Harris and Columbus State. The games themselves also did not go as planned for MC as they dropped both games in very close fashion, 6-5 to Young Harris and 4-2 to Columbus State.
The baseball team was set to take on West Alabama for their second series of the year. After their schedule for the weekend got pushed back some, they were able to play the Tigers on Feb. 13. The Choctaws fell behind 11-1 in the third, but they battled back and made it a game at the end although their comeback fell short and the Choctaws fell 12-8. The final two games of the series (a double-header on Feb. 14) were postponed with only the one game being played.
The men’s golf team had their fall season debut cancelled as the Battle for the Belt, scheduled to be hosted by Henderson State on Feb. 15-16, was cancelled. They will return to action March 1-2 in Madison as they host the MC Spring Invitational.
The men’s and women’s tennis teams also had the start of their seasons pushed back as well. Both teams were scheduled to open up play on Friday, Feb. 12 against New Orleans, but those matches were postponed, as were matches against Jackson State on Feb. 17. Both teams were also scheduled to play in the Ouachita Baptist Invitational. The men’s tournament was scheduled to play on Feb. 13-15, but the invitational was cancelled. The women’s team was scheduled to play on Feb 19 (against Angelo State) and 20 (against Ouachita Baptist) before playing Henderson State on Feb. 21, but all three of those matches were cancelled.
The volleyball team’s match against the Mississippi University for Women has been postponed from Feb. 18 until Feb. 25 as they look to begin GSC play soon.
While we can expect more games to be moved around due to COVID-19, and while the snow was fun, hopefully we will not have another week like this one in terms of sports.