VERNON – The Friday night lights were dark on Sept. 10 for
the football game scheduled to take place between Vernon and Port St. Joe after
the game was cancelled.
Explanation was given on an announcement on the Vernon High
School Athletics Facebook page from Vernon Head Coach Gerald Tranquille: “Good
afternoon,” wrote Tranquille. “Wanted to let you guys know that
unfortunately, the Port St. Joe vs. Vernon game has been canceled due to lack
of numbers on our side from COVID and contact tracing.”
Port St. Joe Assistant Coach Tracey Browning reiterated the
reasons for the cancellation in an interview Thursday with the Port St. Joe
“I don’t know of any other reason other than COVID,”
Browning said. “I talked with Coach Tranquille myself on Tuesday, and he told
me he had 15 players out of Monday’s practice. He thought he was supposed to
get five back Tuesday, but his health department in that county was not going
to let them come back until Thursday, and he had lost two more players and a
coach on Tuesday morning.”
Port St. Joe head coach Tanner Jones said that he and the
team were disappointed at not being able to play the game, which appears
unlikely to be made up.
The Tiger Sharks have been on an impressive roll at this
early point of the season, with consecutive 36-0 wins over Marianna and
Port St. Joe will travel to Wewa Sept. 17 to clash with
the Gators, with the kickoff set for 8 p.m. EST.
Ken Paulk of the Port St. Joe Star contributed to this