EDITOR'S NOTE: This story is updated to correct unintentional inaccuracies on statements made by Principal Brian Riviere. A former version of this story stated reasons for the game's cancellation were "conflicting" and attributed Riviere saying the cancellation had "more to do with Port St. Joe than VHS." Riviere reached out to clarify with the News that the comment was not representative of his statement. Instead, Riviere deferred to Coach Gerald Tranquille's statement on social media, which is in line with similar statements from Port St. Joe High School. Washington County News strives for accuracy and apologizes for the error. A print version of this story will appear in the September 11, 2021 edition of Washington County News, which had already gone to press at the time of this correction. A printed correction will be made to this item in the September 15, 2021 print edition.
VERNON – The Friday night lights will be dark on September 10 for the football game scheduled to take place between Vernon and Port St. Joe after the game was cancelled.
Explanation was given on an announcement on the Vernon High School Athletics Facebook page from Head VHS Football Coach Gerald Tranquille: “Good afternoon," wrote Coach Tranquille. "Wanted to let you guys know that unfortunately, the Port St. Joe vs. Vernon game has been canceled due to lack of numbers on our side from Covid and contact tracing.”
PSJ Assistant Coach Tracey Browning reiterated the reasons for the cancellation in an interview Thursday with the Port St. Joe Star, a sister publication of Washington County News.
“I don’t know of any other reason other than COVID,” Browning said. “I talked with Coach Tranquille myself on Tuesday, and he told me he had 15 players out of Monday’s practice. He thought he was supposed to get five back Tuesday, but his health department in that county was not going to let them come back until Thursday, and he had lost two more players and a coach on Tuesday morning.”
Coach Tranquille was unable to be reached for further comment at press time.
Wendy Weitzel of the Port St. Joe Star contributed to this report.