By: Riley Haltom
After what felt like as close to a return to normalcy in the way of high school athletics as possible, the coronavirus reared its ugly head once more. As case numbers rose in the state and around the country, Governor Bill Lee released Executive Order No. 70 on December 20 in order to combat the rising COVID-19 infections. Executive Order No. 70 restricted the number of people permitted to attend games. Spectators are now limited to only immediate family members of athletes, staff required for the games and officials. Notably, no non-family spectators or cheerleaders are authorized to attend the games. This order limits the effectiveness of home-court advantage, as most parents attend road games anyway. Fans can still watch the Eagles play through the school’s YouTube channel, Streaming Eagles Media. The Executive Order No. 70 ends on Jan. 18, meaning barring an extension, fans would be able to attend the last few games of the season, including big games against rivals McNairy and Lexington. Other games that happen after that Jan. 19 expiration date are Jackson South Side, Jackson North Side, McNairy, Scotts Hill, Lexington, Adamsville and the District and Regional Tourneys.
Junior center Kiram McGee can feel the difference between having fans and not.
“Having fans in the building helps so much. Basketball is a game of momentum, and when your team is rolling, it helps to have the crowd there to keep the energy high. Student sections help keep it intense between the schools and help make these fun rivalries we have. Not having that extra boost is easy to feel, but we still want to go out there and win games,” McGee said. “We appreciate the support of fans that have stuck with us through everything, and when they can come back, we want to reward their loyalty and win some games.”
On Dec. 8, the basketball teams took the court against a tough Scotts Hill team. The girls took down the Lions 60-46, spurred on by Mia Hurst’s 19 points and Ava Craddock’s 17 points. The boys suffered a loss after taking the lead in the first quarter but fell behind by five at the half. They never could erase that deficit and ultimately lost 68-52.
On December 11, our basketball teams were supposed to take on Hardin County, but those games were canceled. They play at the rival Lexington Tigers on the twelfth. Sadly, Chester County fans will be limited to watching the rivalry unfold via the Streaming Eagle Media YouTube channel live stream. Fans are encouraged to tune in to the stream and even talk in the chat about the game. Ray Pack, the man who hosts the stream, interacts with fans in the chat. Tune in and hopefully watch our Eagles get a win!