TEXARKANA, Texas — Liberty-Eylau's varsity football game against Spring Hill on Friday has been canceled.
"Due to ongoing issues regarding COVID cases at Spring Hill, tomorrow night's game has been canceled," Liberty-Eylau ISD said on social media. "Any tickets purchased will be refunded."
Liberty-Eylau has had scrimmages cancelled due to COVID implications, but this is the first game they have had to cancel.
"I talked to coach earlier, and he just hates it for the boys," Director of Communications Matt Fry said. "You hate it for Spring Hill, as well. This was a big district game. It was probably going to provide seeding for the playoffs, and I think both teams really wanted to play it."
Fry added that the district handbook says that the team who has to cancel because of having cases has to forfeit, resulting in a win for the other team. But there are new rulings on how these situations are addressed.
"Now, a couple days ago the UIL issued some guidance, and it's not real clear exactly what it means at the district level, but basically said if you can work it out and if both teams agree, you can potentially make up games that are missed," he said.
Fry said the rule essentially states that the teams could waive the rule that prevents two teams from playing multiple games in a week, but there's nothing definite, and it is yet to be seen how the district's executive committee will handle the situation.
To make matters even more complicated, it's L-E's homecoming week.
"It's our homecoming game, so there's everything that goes along with that," Fry said. "Now, tomorrow morning at our pep rally, we will actually go ahead and do the whole ceremony and crown the homecoming queen, and do all that without a game."
Head Coach Dawaski Davis said his team was disappointed to hear the news, but they're aware there is a silver lining.
"We're disappointed that we didn't get a chance to play, because (the players) were excited and worked extremely hard for this game this week," Davis said. "To find out today that they can't play, they had mixed emotions. But then they were excited to have the chance to get another win out of it."
Davis and the Leopards will look to recoup and travel to play Gilmer next week. And they won't need any help getting pumped up for that matchup.
"Gilmer and Liberty-Eylau have a pretty good history together, and they bring the best out of one another. So, we don't have to worry about trying to push them to get excited for next week, because they get excited when they play Gilmer."
(Texarkana Gazette Online Editor Jason Hopkins contributed to this story.)