Basketball, Christmas in Grapeland, Texas Tenors Nixed
By Will Johnson
HOUSTON COUNTY – As the year 2020 draws to close, it seems the wear couldn’t help but say “Screw You!” to Houston County one more time.
So far this year, the COVID-19 pandemic caused: schools to shut in the spring; forced alternative style graduations; knocked the Crockett Bulldogs out of the UIL football playoffs; forced the cancelation of the Peanut Festival; isolated several area basketball teams in quarantine; and then there was this week.
It started out with promising news as vaccines produced by Pfizer and Moderna were given a green light by the FDA. Then, Monday hit and it was announced the Grapeland boys’ basketball team would be quarantined until after Christmas.
In a tweet from the Grapeland Basketball account it was stated, “(JV & V) is officially in the Q until after Xmas. We will reschedule the district games for Saturdays in Jan.”
On Wednesday, Dec. 16, Grapeland Chamber of Commerce President Brandon Bridges texted, “Due to a rise in positive COVID-19 cases in our team and community and an even larger quarantine circle we regret to announce that we must cancel the festivities for Christmas in the Park on Thursday.”
The following day on Thursday, Jan. 17, it was announced The Texas Tenors concert scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 19 had been postponed due to COVID-19.
Ann Walker, Executive Director of the Piney Woods Fine Arts Association, said, “We are having to postpone the Tenors until next spring. Right now, I don’t know when we will start having concerts again. We haven’t released any dates yet but Exile wants to move to May. The Marshall Tucker Band wants to move to June. It looks like our next concert will probably be in March.”
She said the reason for the postponements were “… COVID-19 concerns. The number of cases across Texas and across East Texas are getting worse. We don’t want to do something to put the public in jeopardy or gives the public that perception.”
Houston County Emergency Management Coordinator Roger Dickey was also contacted concerning the cancellations. He was asked about what appeared to be an uptick in the number of Houston County cases.
Dickey explained his office used to get addresses of Houston County residents who had tested positive for the virus, which would allow for more accuracy. Now, however, he said the Texas Department of State Health Services (TxDSHS) has stopped providing those. The TxDSHS count is now what the county is going by, he said.
“That’s probably as accurate of a count as we can even guess. This is such a monster,” Dickey said.
Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org