Columbus, Ga (WRBL) – The 2021 season was supposed to be a return to normalcy for high school football players. At Jordan High School they face the reality that their season is over. Jeff Battles, the Muscogee County School District Athletic Director, made the announcement that Jordan High School has cancelled the remainder of the 2021 varsity football season. Here’s the full statement MCSD released about Jordan’s decision to cancel the 2021 season:
“Due to situations outside of our control, the Jordan Vocational Varsity Football team will be cancelling the remainder of its season. This decision does not come lightly, but due to COVID associated protocols and injuries, Jordan does not have the student-athletes available to safely field a varsity team. Jordan will resume the football program and activities for the 2022-2023 school year. Accommodations for the remaining eligible players have been given.”
Jordan head football coach Dale Overton said he barely had 20 players on his roster to play the 2021 season. Many starters transferred to different schools before the Red Jackets played their first game, so it was an uphill battle from the start.
“We went in the first week of school 5 lineman. And it already was a difficult situation. Then as the weeks went along you know with the COVID issues and a couple of injuries here and there each week. It just decimated our team,” said Overton
Then just after the 2021 season kicked off, the Red Jackets had players test positive for COVID-19.
“You know we’ve had at least two each week that tested positive. Then there would be another one or two that was in the classroom was forced to quarantine because of it,” said Overton.
Some players on the Jordan roster wanted to keep on playing this season. However the lack of available players would become too much a liability.
“So now you’re looking at you know the possibility of playing, with 6 games left with you know 17 players. You know in 4A that’s difficult to do,” said Overton.
While the Red Jackets won’t suit up for the rest of the 2021 season, there will be options for players that want to finish out the rest of the season. Current Jordan players can transfer this season without repercussions.
“That issue about going to another school will be waived because they didn’t create this hardship. So they obviously can go to another program,” said Overton.
And for those players that wish to remain at Jordan High School, Coach Overton will try to put together a Junior Varsity schedule. That’s because most of the students on his roster were freshmen.
“With the fact that we’re playing 4A football and we’re down to 8 starters being 9th graders. You know that’s pretty bleek right there. So what we’re trying to do is schedule some JV games,” said Overton.
Head coach Overton made it clear that this was a very difficult decision to make. Unfortunately, there were just too many hurdles in the way for the Red Jackets to have a safe and productive football season.
“It’s been very difficult. I’ve never experienced anything like this. You know I brought my coaching staff over from the state of Alabama. All of us retired. We all came over trying to make this program better.”
Dale Overton, Jordan High head football coach
MCSD Athletic Director Battles says the rest of the schools in Jordan’s region and currently trying to figure out alternate opponents since the Red Jackets will no longer play games for the rest of the season.