Week 2 of high school football brings several more COVID-19 cancellations across Kentucky

Published: Aug. 27, 2021 at 4:12 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 27, 2021 at 10:15 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - As Kentucky’s high school football season pushes forward, several teams across the state have canceled games this weekend.

Per the Kentucky High School Athletic Association’s website, 20 games had been canceled because of COVID-19 as of Friday afternoon, including Christian Academy of Louisville.

“This isn’t a surprise to us,” CAL Head Coach Hunter Cantwell said. “We’ve been talking about this with them from day one.”

Cantwell told WAVE 3 News he received news Wednesday CAL’s scheduled opponent - North Bullitt - was in quarantine and would not be able to play Friday’s game. Cantwell said he contacted other coaches and tried to find an opponent, but was unsuccessful.

Cantwell said his team will use the off day to prepare for next week’s game.

“I don’t think it’s disappointing,” Cantwell said. “I mean, we understand what the situation is and you just take everything in stride and look forward to the next week, the next opponent.”

Cantwell also said part of the cancellations statewide may be attributed to the unique nature of football. He said there may only be a few players on each team forced to quarantine, but if all the quarantined players play the same position, it makes it hard for that team to go forward with the game.

“I don’t see this getting worse,” Cantwell said. “I just see it as continuing to find ways to help guys have a season and navigating the uniqueness that COVID brings specifically to football.”

COVID-19 cases across Kentucky have continued to skyrocket.

A heat map of the state’s incidence rate shows all 120 cases are in the red zone, with a statewide incidence rate 81.73 per 100,000 people. Per Governor Andy Beshear, there were 5,4000 new cases of COVID-19 reported Thursday, the second-highest total since the pandemic started.

“Our entirely red map is going to remain entirely red,” KHSAA Commissioner Julian Tackett said. “And so it’s challenging times, but we’re available and ready to pivot if there becomes a better strategy. Right now, it seems that the best strategy is to get people vaccinated and get the local people to make some key decisions.”

Tackett told WAVE 3 News as of Friday, there were no plans to cancel an entire week’s worth of football games, but said the pandemic has forced KHSAA to be ready and willing to pivot at a moment’s notice.

”It’s so avoidable by actions that could’ve been taken early this summer, especially when it’s quarantine,” Tackett said. “Now I get it if the community rate is so high that they don’t want to have an event. I get that. But, in terms of team quarantines, it was preventable. I hope our basketball coaches and our baseball coaches are paying attention and are going ahead and taking those steps that can prevent it from happening and learning from what’s happening right now.”

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