Southaven football back in a big game after sidelined by COVID-19

DESOTO COUNTY, Miss. — After being forced to forfeit two games due to COVID-19, the Southaven Chargers are back on the field for the first time in two weeks following three players testing positive.

Turnout for the Olive Branch and Southaven game is usually packed, but COVID-19 is going to put a damper on it.

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The game between the Chargers and the Conquistadors is commonly known as the backyard brawl that pits neighbor against neighbor and kids who have grown up with each other against each other.

Jerald Wheeler has watched Southaven football games since the 1980′s. He later was a school resource officer who escorted Southaven players to the game.

Wheeler is retired but still goes to every Southaven game he can make. He said Southaven players feel something was taken from them in the two games they had to forfeit.

“The guys are kind of upset because they worked really hard to play Friday night football and it got snatched from them, you have seniors graduating and they want to get that time back,” Wheeler said.

The game at Olive Branch will look different than games in the past. The crowd will only be allowed at 50 percent capacity max.

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Usually during this game, it is hard to move in the stadium.

“Back in the day you couldn’t stand on the sidelines, you couldn’t get anywhere without it being elbow to around the field and in the stands for Southaven Olive Branch games, it is going to be kind of different tonight not seeing it packed to capacity,” Wheeler said.

Former Southaven High defensive tackle Derek Hines said regardless of the turnout, Southaven will show up to play.

“I think those boys are gonna be ready, they are going to be amped up and very hungry,” Hines said.

The game kicks off at 7:00 at Olive Branch.

It is also Olive Branch’s Homecoming.

Fans do not have to wear a mask in the stadium but it is highly recommended that you wear one while entering and exiting the stadium.

Southaven with the win over Olive Branch 19-14.