/After 97 years of games, COVID-19 cancels Simpson County’s Super Bowl for 2020

After 97 years of games, COVID-19 cancels Simpson County’s Super Bowl for 2020

They are not in Simpson County, 2020. COVID-19 has made the Simpson County Super Bowl, which matches neighbors Magee and Mendenhall, the most bizarre of football seasons. This Super Bowl is far more significant than any other Super Bowl that the NFL holds in Simpson County. Magee High School and Mendenhall High School are seven miles away. The rivalry has been going on for almost a century. Here’s the story: Magee coach Teddy Dyess stated that one Magee player tested positive for COVID. The entire Trojan team was quarantined for 14 day. Magee will therefore forfeit its games against Natchez on Friday night, and Mendenhall on September 19. Dyess stated Thursday morning that “our kids are devastated.” “When I told them Tuesday at practice, they were all over field squalling. They consider football important. Magee is a place where Mendenhall is a big part of your childhood. It is a terrible thing to not play that game. We were all in tears on our practice field.” Mendenhall players also took the news very hard. After receiving a call by Dyess, Coach Monroe Allen gave the news to his Tigers. Allen stated Wednesday that most of his Tigers went home and fell asleep early because losing the opportunity to play their rival hurt. Allen should be aware that this game is a huge deal in our community and something that all of our children look forward to each year. He was a Magee football player. He is now a coach at Mendenhall. He will tell you that the rivalry in Mississippi is fierce. This has been the case for a very long time. This would have been the 98th renewal. Magee is the leader of the series 49-45-2. This rivalry can be best illustrated by the massive manufacturing plant, which is located about halfway between the two towns on the east side U.S. 49. The site of Universal Manufacturing’s original plant was a matter of contention between Magee and Mendenhall, who were once city fathers. Both sides finally agreed that the best way for both towns to support a bond is to locate the plant halfway between them. That’s exactly what happened. This epidemic has caused havoc in high school football throughout the state. The season was delayed by the Mississippi High School Activities Association for two weeks. Jackson Public Schools cancelled their football season. Greenville and Greenwood schools also cancelled their football season. North Forrest was also affected. A game is canceled, postponed, or rescheduled almost every day. The attendance limit for games that are actually played is 25 percent. Who knows what the impact of the pandemic on the playoffs at the season’s conclusion? One thing we do know is that the championship weekend venue will change. The six championship games for this season were originally scheduled to be played at Starkville Dec. 4-5, but Mississippi State will now play Missouri at home Dec. 5, due to SEC scheduling changes that were forced by the pandemic. The MHSAA has yet to name a championship venue, but Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium seems the most likely. Each postponement or cancellation has a domino effect. Collins High, for example, had to quarantine its players after being exposed to COVID-19 in a Magee 34-0 defeat. Guess who Collins was supposed play Friday night? Mendenhall. Mendenhall has now lost two games. Wait, Collins was supposed play at Taylorsville on September 19. Mendenhall will instead go to Taylorsville on that night. Allen stated, “I am happy we were able to combine that.” It’s a tough game, but it is something we can do. They want to play. They might not. It only takes one positive test for everything to change. Uncertainty is the only certainty about 2020’s season. Future cancellations may occur, which would allow Magee and Mendenhall to still have their Super Bowl. Allen said that Mendenhall would welcome the chance to play it. Magee’s Dyess said, “You bet that we would.”