Virus stops No. 1 Lions' contest

Ennis’ home game against District 8-5A (II) colleague called off because of cases at opponent's school.

Bill Spinks
Waxahachie Daily Light

For the fifth week in a row, at least one Ellis County high school football game has been either outright canceled or postponed because of COVID-19.

This time, it’s the Ennis Lions’ game against Greenville. The Class 5A Division I No. 1-ranked Lions announced Wednesday evening that the District 8-5A (II) opener for both teams at Lions Memorial Stadium was called off because of an outbreak of the virus within Greenville ISD. That school has closed down campuses for cleaning and disinfecting, and went to virtual learning for the rest of this week.

The Lions (2-0) have played only two games so far this season, a 52-21 season-opening win at Red Oak and a 38-0 home win against Waxahachie last Friday. Ennis’ Oct. 2 game against Keller Timber Creek was canceled because of a COVID case involving the opponent.

The district has a built-in make-up date in its schedule during Thanksgiving weekend, but the two schools had announced no decision to reschedule as of midday Friday. Another 8-5A game originally to be played Friday — Sulphur Springs at Crandall — was rescheduled for Thanksgiving weekend due to a confirmed COVID-19 case among Sulphur Springs players.

Ennis is scheduled to travel to Sulphur Springs next Friday, and so far the game remains on the schedule. The Wildcats had previously canceled a game against Hallsville and their quarantine period should expire next week.

Scheduled open dates resulted in another week off for both Red Oak and Midlothian after game cancellations last week. Red Oak will be idled for a third straight week after two cancellations because of positive COVID tests, while Midlothian called off its non-district game vs. Wichita Falls Rider three hours before kickoff last Thursday after learning of a positive COVID test. As of midday Friday, neither had scheduled games to fill the openings.

Midlothian Heritage (5-2, 2-0) is one of only four Ellis County 11-man football teams to have played a full schedule this far, but it was a close call. The Jaguars were able to reschedule a game at short notice against Mesquite Poteet on Friday that the Jaguars won, 49-33, after gaining a district forfeit from Brownwood. The Jags were slated to visit Life Waxahachie on Friday night.

The only other 11-man teams in Ellis County whose schedules haven’t been directly altered by the virus since the start of the season are Waxahachie, Maypearl and Palmer. The Indians (1-2) have a bye this weekend and will open District 11-6A play next Friday at DeSoto.