Ray Villeda, NBC 5 News
Duncanville's boys and girl's basketball programs are battling a tough opponent, the flu. Illnesses are forcing several players to sit out important games.
A storied high school basketball program says its toughest opponent isn't on the other bench -- it's the flu.
Basketball season is coinciding with flu season, forcing a lot of players to sit out.
"I'd say this is the worst to impact both teams," said Cathy Self-Morgan, coach of the No. 2 nationally ranked girls team at Duncanville.
The boys team is also well-ranked, and their coach agreed that the flu has taken a toll.
"I've never seen anything like it in all my years of coaching," Danny Henderson said. "It's been the most difficult."
As a result, players have had to miss games and practices.
"It went through, I think, every team in our tournament," said Ariel Atkins, junior at Duncanville. "It went through us -- we all had it during the tournament. We got better at it; just had to play through it as a team."
The coaches are making sure to do everything they can to keep the environment sterile.
"We are washing everything," Self-Morgan said. "We were washing their game warm-ups, their travel warm-ups -- anything they touched."
Other high schools also are dealing with the flu. The South Grand Prairie girls' coach said players on the varsity, JV and freshman levels have missed games and practices, including its top scorers.
However, DeSoto coaches said the flu was more of an issue for them during the winter break.