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Selma High changes football schedule

The coronavirus has forced Selma High to alter its football schedule.

The Saints’ season-opener at Stanhope-Elmore was scheduled for Friday night at Memorial Stadium until Stanhope-Elmore cancelled the contest.

Because Memorial Stadium is owned by the city, Selma Mayor Darrio Melton doesn’t want to allow spectators to attend games because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Selma City Schools superintendent Dr. Avis Williams said she respects Melton’s decision on no fans at home games.

“We are in the midst of a pandemic and leaders are having to make tough decisions that impact the lives of many,” Williams said. “This is another example of that and while I wish we could have spectators, I respect the decision to prioritize safety and health.

“I understand that spectators could create some issues with manpower for the city and that would be detrimental to the health and safety efforts.”

The Saints will start the season on the road. Selma travels to Southside next Friday.

Selma High football coach Will Gandy said the Saints have moved their home contest against Marbury to the road on Sept. 4. The next week, Selma visits Jemison.

“No doubt, we would love to play at home in front of our fans,” Gandy said. “Not being able to play at home is really upsetting not only to me as the coach, but to our kids who have worked so hard for the opportunity to play in front of their parents and classmates. At the end of the day, everything is suppose to be done for the kids.”

Selma High Athletic Director Katasha Turner said school officials are working to have things in place for the Saints’ next home game against Jackson on Sept. 18 at Memorial Stadium.

The Selma Times-Journal made multiple attempts to contact Melton for comment, but calls weren’t returned.