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Four Sherman teams placed on hiatus this week

Jason Della Rosa
Herald Democrat
The Sherman-Longview game on Friday has been cancelled after the SISD paused football, boys and girls basketball and cheer for a week due to COVID-19 concerns.

The Sherman ISD has announced that it is pausing the activities some of its high school athletic programs due to growing COVID-19 concerns within the district.

Football, boys and girls basketball and cheer will not compete and have limited interaction in practice for the next week, leading to the cancellation of games, including the opening of both hoops schedules and the District 7-5A (II) football game that was to be held at Bearcat Stadium against Longview on Friday night.

“We’ve had an uptick the last couple weeks throughout the district,” Sherman athletic director Bob Jones said. “Those four groups we are going to halt for seven days. Right now we’re going to be proactive instead of reactive.

“We’ve been really good all year but this is a situation where we have to do something.”

If there are no further issues, the programs will be back to their normal schedules starting next week. Jones said it wouldn't be until Monday before a decision on if the pause of activities would be extended.

The move comes after the Sherman ISD was informed that a pair of high school athletes received lab-confirmed positive COVID-19 tests, which resulted in the quarantine of several members of the football and boys basketball team.

Additional positive tests or close contact quarantines were already impacting coaches or players in cheer, girls basketball and freshman volleyball.

“We felt it was better to stop it right now. If there was going to be any spreading, we can stop it before it did,” Jones said.

The athletic department will be increasing sanitation and conduct a deep cleaning of all locker rooms and facilities this week as a response.

“All of our sports will still have their athletic periods, they will just have limited contact,” Jones said.

One sport will be allowed to continue as scheduled. Volleyball will play its final two matches — at Wylie East on Tuesday and at hosting Princeton on Friday — to end the season. The Lady Bearcats have been eliminated from the playoffs so there wouldn't be a concern about playing in the postseason next week if there were issues with the restart.

The girls basketball team was going to open its season at home on Tuesday against Little Elm and then play at Pottsboro on Friday.

The boys basketball team was set for its opener at North Mesquite on Tuesday before playing at McKinney Boyd on Friday and Paris on Saturday.

The football team was coming off its bye week and about to start the final month of 7-5A (I) play. The game against Longview will go down as a no contest and if it is needed for playoff positioning or seeding, the point differential between common opponents will be used. The winner of the match-up would have been tied with the McKinney North-Highland Park loser for second place.

Sherman is now focused on playing McKinney North at McKinney ISD Stadium next Thursday, Nov. 19, and that remains as scheduled. Longview will be off until after Thanksgiving as it has the district bye next week.

It is the first 7-5A (I) contest affected by COVID-19, although Highland Park, Wylie East and Tyler all had non-district games cancelled due to positive cases within their programs.

“We’re going to try and get a handle on it,” Sherman head football coach J.D. Martinez said. “We’re hitting the pause button."

Sherman is the latest Grayson County football team to have games altered because of COVID-19 concerns, whether with them or their opponent. Whitewright, Gunter, Howe, S&S, Tioga and Collinsville all played nine-game schedules while Pottsboro and Tom Bean ended up with eight regular-season games.