cloudyn.png
Friday February 3rd, 2023 1:29AM

Low on water, prep football adapts in Mississippi's capital

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

Marcus Gibson never realized how much water a high school football program used until it was gone.

Even so, he considers his team one of the lucky ones as a water crises roils Mississippi's largest city.

The football coach at Murrah High School — right in the middle of Jackson, Mississippi, not far from the state capitol — says that his fieldhouse has about 40 to 50 cases of bottled water stacked along the walls thanks to players' parents, administration and other benefactors. That should be plenty for his team to drink over the next few days at practice.

“Hydration isn't much of a problem,” he said “It's everything else.”

Many Jackson residents have been without running water in their homes and businesses this week because of breakdowns in the city’s main water treatment plant. Torrential rains caused the Pearl River to flood, exacerbating problems with pumps.

Jackson schools moved to online classes and canceled some of this weekend’s high school football games because of uncertainty about water. Some restaurants closed, while others are bringing in tankers of clean water from the suburbs. People are waiting in long lines to receive bottled water for drinking or non-potable water for flushing toilets.

Even before the water pressure dropped perilously low, Jackson’s water system was fragile and officials had warned for years that widespread loss of service was possible.

Now it's happened — right in the middle of the hottest part of football season. While there are certainly more important things to worry about during a crisis, football is a staple of the state's cultural identity. Coaches and players are trying to find ways to press forward, even in less than optimal conditions.

“We're kind of used to it,” said Murrah receiver Christian Jackson before Wednesday's practice. “After two years of COVID-19, we just make it work. You bring your own water to practice if you can and make the most of opportunities, because some of our practices have been canceled.”

Gibson said keeping everything clean is the biggest challenge. He said assistant coaches are working out plans to wash practice and game uniforms at laundromats outside the city or at any other place with enough water pressure.

Callaway High School coach Dameon Jones said he just takes his team's clothes home and washes them himself since he lives a few miles outside of the city.

“We're taking it one day at a time," Jones said. “What I tell my kids — adversity is going to come. It's how you're going to deal with it.”

Murrah and Callaway are among four of the biggest city schools preparing to play in a “Graduation Classic,” which was originally expected to be at Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium. That's been canceled due to the lack of water, though there's hope the games can be moved elsewhere. Thousands of fans were expected.

Three high school football games remained on schedule for Thursday and Friday nights as of Wednesday.

“We will certainly have plenty of hand sanitizer and different things," said Sherwin Johnson, executive director of public engagement for Jackson Public Schools. “Although our restrooms don’t have water, we are reserving and will have portable restrooms at each of our stadiums, enough to accommodate the crowds that we anticipate.”

Johnson added that no other sports were affected by the water shortage.

The inconveniences weren't limited to high school sports. Jackson State football coach Deion Sanders said Tuesday that the water crisis left his players without air conditioning or ice at their practice facility. In a video that one of his sons posted to social media, Sanders said he wanted to move players into a hotel so they could shower.

“We’re going to find somewhere to practice, find somewhere that can accommodate every durn thing that we need and desire to be who we desire to be, and that’s dominate,” Sanders said. “The devil is a lie. He ain’t going to get us today, baby.”

The make-do attitude is common these days around Jackson. Gibson and Jones — the high school coaches — said they're still optimistic their games will be played.

“We're just waiting to hear where the game is going to be," Jones said. “Give us a time, a field and we'll be ready.”

___

AP reporter Emily Wagster Pettus in Jackson, Mississippi, and AP Sports Writer Gary Graves contributed to this report.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Football, AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines
© Copyright 2023 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
UN inspectors arrive at Ukraine nuclear plant amid fighting
A U.N. inspection team has arrived at Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant on a mission to safeguard it from catastrophe
11:10AM ( 1 minute ago )
Watering while Black: anatomy of a pastor's Alabama arrest
A Black pastor plans to sue an Alabama city whose white police officers placed him in handcuffs after he refused to identify himself while watering flowers for his neighbor on private property
10:39AM ( 33 minutes ago )
Lebanese families file lawsuit against army for boat sinking
Survivors of a migrant boat that sank near northern Lebanon are filing lawsuits against the country's military
10:35AM ( 36 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Low on water, prep football adapts in Mississippi's capital
A water crises in Mississippi's capital city has forced high school football coaches to adjust on the fly
10:09AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Source: Russell Wilson gets five-year, $245M extension
A person with knowledge of the deal confirms to The Associated Press that Russell Wilson and the Denver Broncos have agreed to a five-year extension worth $245 million
9:35AM ( 1 hour ago )
Mick Schumacher stays silent on shaky Formula One future
Mick Schumacher is declining to discuss his future in Formula One amid speculation he’ll be dropped by Haas at the end of the season
9:25AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Sports
AP sources: Presidents meeting to discuss CFP expansion
The university presidents who oversee the College Football Playoff are scheduled to meet Friday to discuss expanding the four-team format
9:06PM ( 14 hours ago )
Aaron Donald on helmet swing: 'It was just a practice'
Aaron Donald downplayed swinging a helmet at Cincinnati Bengals players in a brawl at a joint practice between last season’s Super Bowl teams last Thursday
7:03PM ( 16 hours ago )
Low on water, prep football adapts in Mississippi's capital
A water crises in Mississippi's capital city has forced high school football coaches to adjust on the fly
6:45PM ( 16 hours ago )
AP Online Football
To China’s fury, UN accuses Beijing of Uyghur rights abuses
The U.N. has accused China of serious human rights violations that may amount to “crimes against humanity” in a long-delayed report examining a crackdown on Uyghurs and other mostly Muslim ethnic groups
10:05AM ( 1 hour ago )
Putin pays tribute to Gorbachev but won't attend his funeral
Russian President Vladimir Putin has paid tribute to former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev but will not attend the weekend funeral, a decision reflecting the Kremlin’s ambivalence about Gorbachev’s legacy
8:54AM ( 2 hours ago )
For exiled Uyghurs, UN report is long-awaited vindication
The U.N.’s long-delayed report on mass detentions and other rights abuses against Uyghurs and other mostly Muslim ethnic groups in China's far-western Xinjiang region has been welcomed by survivors as an acknowledgement of abuses they say they faced at the hands of the Chinese state
8:45AM ( 2 hours ago )
AP National News
EXPLAINER: Why is China so angry over UN report on Xinjiang?
China is responding furiously to a United Nations report on alleged human rights abuses in its northwestern Xinjiang region targeting Uyghurs and other mainly Muslim ethnic minorities
6:30AM ( 4 hours ago )
China locks down 21 million in Chengdu in COVID-19 outbreak
About 21 million people have been ordered to stay home in the southwestern Chinese city of Chengdu following a spike in COVID-19 cases
6:20AM ( 4 hours ago )
UN inspectors head to Ukraine nuclear plant despite fighting
The company that oversees Ukraine’s nuclear power plants says that shelling by Russian forces triggered a shutdown at one of the reactors at the Zaporizhzhia plant
5:52AM ( 5 hours ago )
AP Online National News
It's back to school in Ukraine — but far from normal
It's the first day of school in Ukraine, but children won't be sharing memories from their holidays
11:03AM ( 10 minutes ago )
Peltola beats Palin, wins Alaska House special election
Democrat Mary Peltola has won the special election for Alaska’s only U.S. House seat, besting a field that included Republican Sarah Palin
4:26AM ( 6 hours ago )
White House to encourage COVID boosters, flu shot this fall
The Biden administration hopes to make getting a COVID-19 booster as routine as going in for the yearly flu shot
12:10AM ( 11 hours ago )
Top General short headlines
Watering while Black: anatomy of a pastor's Alabama arrest
A Black pastor plans to sue an Alabama city whose white police officers placed him in handcuffs after he refused to identify himself while watering flowers for his neighbor on private property
10:39AM ( 34 minutes ago )
Lebanese families file lawsuit against army for boat sinking
Survivors of a migrant boat that sank near northern Lebanon are filing lawsuits against the country's military
10:35AM ( 38 minutes ago )
Mexico president proposes reforms to National Guard
Mexico’s National Guard, created as a nominal civilian force in 2019, would be transferred completely to the authority of the country’s military
10:30AM ( 42 minutes ago )
UK's Johnson pledges millions to fund new nuclear plant
Britain’s outgoing Prime Minister Boris Johnson has pledged 700 million pounds ($810 million) of government funding for a new nuclear power plant
10:10AM ( 1 hour ago )
To China’s fury, UN accuses Beijing of Uyghur rights abuses
The U.N. has accused China of serious human rights violations that may amount to “crimes against humanity” in a long-delayed report examining a crackdown on Uyghurs and other mostly Muslim ethnic groups
10:05AM ( 1 hour ago )