Meridian will host Philadelphia to kick off football season

August 26, 2021 0 By Oha

Opening week for Meridian High School football has been altered slightly.

The Wildcats were originally scheduled to host Laurel Saturday evening to open the 2021 season, but Laurel had to switch to virtual learning this week due to COVID-19 concerns. Because of MHSAA rules, Laurel cannot face other schools in athletic competitions until it returns to in-person learning.

Philadelphia’s season opener at Noxubee County was also canceled, and the Tornadoes are now scheduled to take on MHS at 7 p.m. Friday at Ray Stadium.

“We’re very thankful for the Philadelphia High School administrators on such short notice for things to come together and play Friday night,” MHS athletic director Cheyenne Trussell said. “We knew going into this year it would be similar to last year, so we just have to make whatever adjustments we can to stay on the field.”

Trussell said MHS’s jamboree game at Wayne County last week was canceled, and he and the coaches wanted to make sure the football players got a chance to finally play a game this week if at all possible.

“We wanted to be able to stay on the field as much as we can,” Trussell said. “We’re excited. Our fans are excited, and I’m sure the kids and the community will be excited as well.”

The Wildcats will honor long-time volunteer Michael “Chico” Brooks at halftime Friday night, something that was originally planned for the Laurel game Saturday before its cancelation. Trussell said CDC guidelines for social distancing will be in effect Friday at Ray Stadium, and he’s asking fans to make sure to wear masks. Metal detectors will be at all public entrances to Ray Stadium, and children in eighth grade or younger must be accompanied by an adult