Last Friday was supposed to be a very good day for Brindlee Mountain girls basketball coach Tony Mabrey.
He and his wife, Roseanne, were going to travel to Jacksonville to see their son, Jon Dudley Litchford, graduate from Jacksonville State.
Then, with his team riding a two-game winning streak coming out of pandemic-related break, Mabrey planned to drive over to Susan Moore and coach his team in their second Area 13 game of the week, three days after the Lady Lions won their area opener at J.B. Pennington.
What could go wrong?
In short, almost everything. The grad-uation took place as planned, and that made everyone happy. But the happiness was short-lived for Mabrey and his wife.
First, he got a text from J.B. Pennington’s coach, informing him that the Blountsville school had learned following the game that a COVID-infected player had played 27 minutes in the game.
That meant Brindlee Mountain had to start contact tracing for its players, meaning also the game Friday night ¬– and this week’s games – would have to be postponed (the team is under quarantine until Saturday).
But that’s not all. When Mabrey met with Brindlee Mountain’s nurse, Mandy Garmany, to initiate the contact tracing, she tested both Mabreys, and they both tested positive.
Roseanne already had started feeling some symptoms of COVID-19 but fortunately for her, she didn’t have a tough time with the virus, according to Tony, who later also felt some symptoms.
Unlike his wife, however, Tony kept feeling more and more lousy. By Saturday night, he knew he had a bad case of COVID-19.
It hit him full force on Sunday. He was still feeling bad on Tuesday.
“Man, it’s rough,” he said by phone. “It feels like a bad case of the flu. Right now, it’s affecting my taste.”
Though he was more concerned with getting rest and getting better, Mabrey did acknowledge the frustration of dealing with the pandemic. This is the second time his team’s season has been disrupted. And this time, the Lady Lions were in the midst of their best run of the season.
“It’s a never-ending thing,” a frustrated Mabrey said. “I hate it for the players, but maybe we can get back to playing soon.”
The boys varsity just came out of quarantine earlier this week but won’t play any games this week and won’t practice, either. Both the boys and girls teams – as well as the JV teams – are scheduled to play at DAR on Tuesday. But coaches at this point just want to resume practice as soon as they can.