The only thing out of the ordinary for the Gatewood Lady Gators soccer team following a grueling 2-1 loss to the Loganville Christian Lady Lions March 12 was the postgame ritual.
Instead of shaking hand with their opponents, members of the Lady Gators bumped elbows as a show of sportsmanship.
The next day, the Georgia Independent School Association (GISA) shut down all sports until at least April 10 in light of the coronavirus outbreak.
“GISA is suspending all academic, athletic and professional development activities beginning March 14 through April 10,” the GISA announced in its letter to schools. “Our goal is to mitigate the risk posed by the coronavirus while maintaining the quality and integrity of instructional and athletic programs. We will continue to monitor the situation and provides updates as information becomes available.”
Gatewood announced that it would be shutting the school down shortly thereafter.
The Gators took an early lead against Loganville Christian when Paulina Mendez scored but the Lady Lions scored the next two goals to take the lead.
The game was characterized by some extremely physical play on both side with Mendez taking a couple of spills in the second half that didn’t sit well with fans or coaches.
The boys also pitched battle with the Loganville team, but lost in double overtime by the same score 2-1.
If the GISA keeps the door closed until April 10, Gatewood would play only three more regular season soccer games this season. Those would be at Westminster Christian in Watkinsville on April 14, at home against Augusta Prep on April 20 and at John Milledge on April 21.