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VWSD parents are upset with school board cancelling Championship Tournament

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Parents of the Vicksburg Junior High School boy’s and girls’ basketball teams are currently unhappy with the school board’s choice to cancel the Championship Tournament.

Parents are urging the Vicksburg-Warren School District board of trustees to call a special meeting and reverse last week’s decision to close and cancel all games. They want the athletes to be allowed to play during the five-day quarantine.

The boy’s team is currently ranked No. 1 in the Little Six bracket. The girls defeated Warren Central on Thursday to advance to the second round but both teams are forced to forfeit due to the board’s decision, effectively ending their seasons.

Having the season come to an abrupt end caused parents of the players to reach out to the Vicksburg Daily News in hopes of being heard.

“I want the board to consider the young men and young ladies and how they feel. They’ve worked so hard all season and are well disciplined so just let them play,” grandmother Jerre Sims said. The parents feel as though VWSD’s decision was rushed without the impact it has on the children being fully evaluated.

Parent, Darryl Carson stated, “The board should make the right decision and let the kids play. They look forward to teamwork. As a taxpayer, everyone is paying taxes for the school and we’re not getting a return on the investment for our kids.” Parents continued to express their feelings as they pled with the board to change their verdict.

“I just want the board to sympathize with our children and reverse their decision of having them out due to COVID-19 (because they are not virtual at all) so that our babies can play and continue to chase what they so rightfully deserve (that championship trophy).” Parent Katrina Watson went on, “I want them to stop comparing this decision to regular season forfeiting because it’s merely incomparable. With a regular-season forfeit the teams still have games to play that make up for that loss versus what we’re facing in this Little Six Conference Tournament which is either won or your season is over. How could the board make such an impacting decision without considering how disheartening it is to our student-athletes? COVID measures have taken so much from all of us, both mentally and physically, and here’s a time where the board has the power to partially protect our children’s mental health by not tearing them down with the decision to take something so sentimental from them. Children as disciplined as our basketball players, we should be their voice and fight for them when all the odds seem to be stacked against them.”

All of the parents or grandparents interviewed acknowledged that COVID-19 is real and serious. After they expressed their feelings, the young, affected athletes weighed in on the situation.

“We want to play and we just made it to the second round and they’re trying to take it away from us,” was the lament of a girl’s basketball player. “We all shed tears the other day and I just want them to let us play,” another Missy Gator added. A VJHS player from the boys’ team said, “We just want them to let us play and go to the Little Six Championship.”

Each parent in the meeting agreed that if the board grants athletes an opportunity to play, they will personally drive their kids to the game if the school doesn’t permit transportation. Sims made it a point to express, “We will drive them even if we’re not allowed in the building and I will carry some other children to the game too.”

As of now, the Gators season is over unless the board reverses their current decision. Watson then stated, “Regardless of the decision that the board decides, I want our student-athletes to know that we’re proud of them and we see what they’ve done this season. We’re going to push through with or without the help of the board.”

It may be too late, but maybe not. The brackets for the Little Six Tournament already show the Vicksburg boys team has forfeited.

Screengrab showing a loss/forfeit.

Yesterday, at 1:40 p.m., the Vicksburg Daily News sent emails to the Superintendent, each of the board members, other administrators and media contact Christy Kilroy for a comment or response to this issue. At the time of publication, no one has responded from the district.

 

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The names of the students were withheld by the Vicksburg Daily News but their statements were used with permission.

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