When the Randolph County School System announced early Wednesday afternoon that it was going to virtual attendance for a week starting Friday, the writing was on the wall for the county basketball tournament.
The official word came later on Wednesday. For the second straight season the county tournament, which was set to begin Thursday at Woodland High School, is cancelled.
Rising cases of Covid-19 rooted in the spread of the Omicron variant led to both decisions.
"You have a plan in place, and you hope it works out," said Woodland principal Brett Waites. "It's a tough decision, but one we felt had to be made."
Waites said he and fellow Woodland officials and coaches met Wednesday to determine the tournament's fate after they were informed of the county's decision to go virtual.
"It's tough, especially for the seniors. I know they wanted to play," Waites said. "I know they've already been through a lot, so I hate it for them the most."
This will be the third time in the last five years that the tournament has been shelved. The last two fell victim to Covid, while the 2018 tournament was called off due to the threat of icy road conditions in the county.