The Jacksonville College Jaguars and Lady Jaguars are back in the gym and are working hard on getting ready for the start of the 2021 season later this month.
JC fans should note that there are a few changes this season, which are centered around the coronavirus pandemic.
First, the Jags and Lady Jags will be playing some Wednesday evening home games this season.
“The Wednesday night home games are something that is going to happen this season, and this season only,” JC athletic director Ken Hamilton said. “With COVID moving many of our (NJCAA) Region XIV teams with sports such as football, volleyball to springtime and combining that with basketball, baseball and softball, travel schedules have become very difficult to manage. If we had refused to play on Wednesdays, it would have been a tremendous hardship on some of our competitors. Dr. (Mike) Smith, therefore, is allowing Wednesday games.”
Several years ago JC discontinued playing home games on Wednesdays so the games would not conflict with Wednesday night worship services.
The Lady Jags have three home dates scheduled for Wednesdays — Feb. 3 vs. Paris, Mar. 3 vs. Trinity Valley and Mar. 10 vs. Kilgore.
The Lady Jags will open the new campaign at home on Fri., Jan. 22, playing an opponent to be announced in a tournament that will also include Blinn and Murray State (Okla.).
The college's men's team will kick off their regular season at 7 p.m. on Wed. Jan. 20 against the Seahawks from Lamar State Port Arthur.
That will be the first of seven home dates slated for Wednesday evenings.
Other Wednesday encounters set for the Curtis Carroll Fieldhouse are Jan. 27 vs. Victoria College, Feb. 3 vs. Blinn, Feb. 17 vs. Coastal Bend, Feb. 24 vs. Navarro, March 3 vs. Tyler, March 10 vs. Trinity Valley, March 24 vs. Kilgore and Mar. 31 vs. Paris.
Hamilton said that the schedules are still changing due to COVID-19-related issues.
Fans will be allowed to attend Region XIV games this season, with a maximum of 50% building capacity allowed.
It will be necessary to social distance and masks must be worn inside the gyms.
Hamilton said presidents of the Region XIV institutions have a meeting scheduled for Thursday to make sure “everyone is on the same page” when it comes to COVID-19 protocols, which are designed to protect the players, coaches, officials and fans alike.