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INDOOR FOOTBALL: Warbirds' season pushed back once again - Odessa American: Sports

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INDOOR FOOTBALL: Warbirds' season pushed back once again

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Posted: Monday, March 16, 2020 6:33 pm

The inaugural season of the West Texas Warbirds will have to wait a little longer to get off the ground.

Team general manger and president Leif Kertis announced Monday that the Champions Indoor Football 2020 season would be delayed at least 30 days due to concerns regarding the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

The latest delay comes after the team announced last week that it would not play its first home game until April 4 due to a shortage of supplies needed to start the season.

The Warbirds were originally scheduled to play Omaha March 14 at the Ector County Coliseum.

Kertis said that the plan would be to play the weekend of April 18 but did say that everything is fluid, especially after the Center for Disease Control came out with a new guidelines Sunday urging a nationwide halt to gatherings of more than 50 people for the next eight weeks.

“We’ll continue to monitor the situation,” Kertis said. “We’re going to see how we can fit everything in.

“It’s hard for me to say when we will be playing football. All I can tell people is that we will be playing football. The sponsors and the fans want six home games, so we’re going to give them six home games.”

Kertis added that there had been discussions within the league about pushing through and starting the season after the initial delay.

 Given recent events regarding the decision was made that it would not be in the best interest of everyone to move ahead as planned.

“The fact of the matter is that a lot of us live in these communities,” Kertis said. “It would feel extraordinarily selfish to us if we were to subject our fans, sponsors and everyone else to spreading the virus.

“It just wouldn’t be a good deal so I think we’re taking the right steps.” 

Kertis emphasized that he and the rest of the team are working to try and keep things as businesses as usual as possible.

He added that other teams in the league had sent some of its players back home but added that he is encouraging players to stay in the area to train and work out individually along with practicing social distancing.

“The guys are here and they’re going to stay as part of the community,” Kertis said. “The coaches are staying here as well.”

Head coach Marcus Coleman said that he would communicate to the players on things to work on, including learning the playbook and watching film.

He also expanded upon the reasoning of keeping the players in town for now.

“Just as an organization, you want to show your commitment to the players.” Coleman said. “And to be frank, it’s probably safer that nobody moves and tries to travel as opposed to staying where they are.”

Like the rest of the sports world that has suddenly halted, he’s trying to make the best of the given situation.

“The only thing that you can do is to try and update everybody as much as you can because everything is in a holding pattern,” he said.

Kertis added that he did not want to hem himself into a specific date as to whether the league would change course of extending the delay or canceling the season altogether.

He did say, however, that he was planning on coming out with something to show support for the community, including a potential partnership with the Jackalopes and Midland RockHounds.

“It hurts us to see our community here in Midland-Odessa hurting with this and the oil impact as well,” he said. “We want to make it a community-concerted effort to make sure that people know that we’re still going to be here for y’all after this is passed and that it’ll be okay.”

>> Follow Tony Venegas on Twitter at @OA_TVenegas

Odessa, TX

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