No. 1 There were actually 12 Pioneer football players in isolation Friday night for the game against Coffee County. The last count I heard on Wednesday last week was six positive cases. Some more Pioneer football players were being tested on Monday. Not to be an alarmist, but homecoming against Shelbyville on October 15 could be in jeopardy if COVID-19 does not ease up on the high school football team.
No. 2 Last year, the high school Lady Pioneer soccer team was hit by injuries and COVID-19 at post-season tournament time, and it diminished their chances of advancing. A year later, the Lady Pioneers appear to be healthy as they approach their first district tournament match next Tuesday at home against Shelbyville. If Warren County and Franklin County meet in the district championship, I would pay to watch that match. They should put on football pads for that one.
No. 3 Transportation is another problem caused by the pandemic. The high school football team has been challenged to secure bus drivers and buses for games. Other coaches I have talked to across the state have encountered similar problems.
No. 4 Dayton Jernigan, a standout junior Pioneer lineman who has an ACL injury, is scheduled for surgery later this month at River Park. I hope he has a successful surgery and rehab. Jernigan will also miss the wrestling season this fall. He hopes to be ready for late spring or summer football conditioning next year.
No. 5 The middle school soccer team competed in the CTC conference tournament Saturday and finished second. It was a good finish for August Palombo’s first season as head coach. The strongest team in the “conference” was Tullahoma, which the TMSAA recently informed member schools they should not be playing. Tullahoma was eliminated from the tournament, and Warren County took Tullahoma’s place.
Before the TMSAA was created, Tullahoma had “club” sports for middle school teams. Richard McWhiter, Assistant Executive Director of the TSSAA, communicated in an email that “TMSAA bylaws do not allow non-school teams to compete against TMSAA school teams.”
The Tullahoma Board of Education is reviewing the status of its non-TMSAA sports such as soccer, volleyball and softball according to Tullahoma AD, John Olive.
My best guess is that Tullahoma will join the TMSAA in all sports soon because the TMSAA is not allowing TMSAA-member schools to play them now.