11-20 ada gallagher pic

Ada senior Kohner Gallagher (45) shares a light moment on the sidelines with head coach Chris Berus during the Cougars' 47-7 win over Elk City in a Class 4A playoff contest last week at Norris Field. Ada officials decided to cancel tonight's second-round matchup at Clinton due to COVID-19 concerns.

COVID-19 has finally caught up with the Ada High football team in a big way.

Ada City Schools superintendent Mike Anderson decided to err on the side of caution and cancel tonight's Class 4A second-round playoff contest between the Cougars and No. 10 Clinton. The announcement came in the form of a press release received by The Ada News at 12:38 p.m.

"Due to COVID related concerns, including a continued surge in positive COVID cases within our schools, I have made the difficult decision to cancel tonight’s game versus Clinton," Anderson said in the release. "This decision has consequences that are wide-ranging and involves much more than a game."

Anderson emphasized his decision was a safety issue.

"The safety and health of all of our students, staff members, and their families are of the utmost concern. And just as importantly, the safety and health of our community and the community of Clinton must be considered," he said.

Anderson and other school officials have been discussing whether or not to cancel the contest for the past few days.

"Every possible avenue to play this game has been explored. But in the end, the risks outweigh the rewards when evaluating all of the scenarios," he said.

"I have true heartfelt concern for the young men that this decision impacts," Anderson continued. "But I am also confident that this decision is a critical step in protecting the welfare and safety of all concerned."

Some of the Cougars' classmates have already been through this. Last March, the Ada High boys basketball team earned a trip to the Class 4A State Tournament but that event was canceled on game day due to COVID-19 concerns.

Clinton will automatically advance to the Class 4A quarterfinals.

Contact Jeff Cali by email at jcali@theadanews.com.

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Jeff Cali has been covering sports in the Ada area since the mid-90s. He graduated from Byng High School and earned a bachelor’s degree from East Central University.

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