Ooltewah boys' basketball season cancellation affects other area schools

A Hamilton County Sheriff's Deputy, left, escorts School Board Superintendent Rick Smith out of the building past a group of Ooltewah students Wednesday night. Students, clockwise from left include Bria Miller, Lexie Godsey, parent Tammy Matthews, Bradley Miller, Hanna Matthews and Cade Starling.

"When a basketball schedule is made out, it's more of a gentleman's agreement that you'll play those games. We have had contracts with teams before, but never a team in our district.

The decision to cancel the remainder of the Ooltewah High School boys' basketball season affects not only that school's current players, but nine other area teams as well.

The Owls had 13 games remaining on their regular-season schedule, including home-and-away series with four opponents, but they will be forced to forfeit each of those now. The remaining schedule included nine total games against District 5-AAA teams (Bradley Central, Cleveland, McMinn County, Soddy-Daisy and Walker Valley) and four games against non-district opponents (one each vs. East Ridge and Red Bank, plus two with Hixson).

The Owls, whose season ends with a 3-12 record, will not have to pay any financial penalty for cancelling games because none of the schools remaining on their schedule had signed contracts.