COVID protocols erase two local prep football games– and end Concord’s football season

Apr. 1—Two Southwest District regular season finale football games scheduled for Friday have been cancelled due to COVID-19 protocols,. Meanwhille the Concord University football team has announced the cancellation of its two remaining spring football games.

The highly-anticipated rematch between Southwest District defending champion Graham and Richlands, which was slated to be played Friday night at Mitchell Stadium, has been cancelled. Similarly, Tazewell’s season finale road trip to Bristol, Va. to face Virginia High on Friday has also been cancelled for the same reason.

Neither game will be rescheduled.

Graham defeated Richlands 33-13 in the mutual season opener at Ernie Hicks Stadium, which was not at the time expected to count as an SWD contest. Graham (5-0) is expected to claim the 2021 Spring Southwest District title and will advance to the playoffs next week as the SWD’s top seed.

Tazewell (3-1) and Richlands (3-1) are tied in the W-L standings, but the Bulldogs are tentatively expected to advance to the playoffs based on power points and Tazewell’s head-to-head victory over Richlands.

As of Wednesday, the regular-season finale meeting between Giles and Narrows scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday at Harry Ragsdale Stadium in Narrows, Va. was still on tap.

The Concord University football team finally had its first football game under new head coach Dave Walker last Saturday, taking West Virginia Wesleyan to the woodshed 52-14 in a Mountain East Conference road contest. Concord quarterback Jack Mangel was named MEC player of the week after completing five TD passes in his debut.

Concord’s announcement was the end of the beginning of that.

“Due to COVID-19 protocols at Concord University, CU’s final two scheduled contests for the 2021 spring football season have been canceled,” the athletic department released Tuesday night.

“The virus ultimately dictated that we could not move forward. We are very hopeful that by fall we can return to a level of normalcy,” the statement concluded.

Concord (1-0) had to cancel scheduled dates with the University of Charleston and West Virginia State before finally getting the green light to play at Buckhannon last weekend. The Mountain Lions were slated to face Glenville State at Callaghan Stadium in Athens on Saturday with a road trip to UNC-Pembroke set for April 10.

No postponed or canceled games will be made up this spring.

No other Concord athletic teams currently active have had seasons postponed or negatively affected by COVID-19 protocols. at this time.

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