At least three more metro-area teams have canceled their season-opening football games Friday because of COVID-19 and will miss their second games as well.
Armstrong posted on Twitter Friday that its first two varsity and junior varsity games will be postponed due to compliance with COVID-19 guidelines. The varsity had been scheduled to play Friday at Spring Lake Park and host Hopkins next Thursday.
Spring Lake Park now plans to host Becker, which saw its scheduled game against Chisago Lakes get canceled.
The Mississippi 8 Conference schedule shows cancellations Friday for Chisago Lakes ninth-grade, junior varsity and varsity football programs. A post from the school’s volleyball Twitter account Thursday says the school’s temporary shift to distance learning will postpone all sports until Oct. 26.
That news came after the season-opening football game Friday between Class 6A schools Rosemount and Lakeville North was canceled because members of the Rosemount team are in quarantine after COVID-19 cases were reported.
Rosemount is also expected to miss its scheduled game on Oct. 15 against Farmington.
A statement from the Rosemount school district said more than one positive case had been reported but declined to say more. Varsity and junior varsity players and staff have been asked to quarantine through the end of Oct. 21, the statement said.
The quarantine move was made “out of an abundance of caution for our community,’’ the statement said, and in consultation with state emergency, public health and school district officials.
Lakeville North said in a statement that is exploring options for other opponents but said “nothing is currently scheduled.’’ Rosemount also is seeking to reschedule games.
The COVID-19 pandemic had previously led to the cancellation of at least eight other Minnesota high school football games scheduled for this weekend, although some teams found other opponents or were still looking.
Players at Kasson-Mantorville, St. Agnes and Osakis have tested positive, resulting in quarantines of teammates and coaches that render their teams unable to practice or play.
As the Chisago Lakes situation shows, the shift to distance learning, required when local case numbers increase, sidelines all school activities including football. Among the other teams on hold for at least two weeks are Brainerd, Fairmont, Laporte, Montevideo and Waterville-Elysian-Morristown.
Affected beyond those eight teams are their opponents, in some cases scrambling in recent days to find another team to play. Mankato East is hosting Worthington on Saturday after both of their original opponents canceled for COVID reasons.
Given the challenge of finding nearby opponents on short notice, it seems likely that some teams won’t play all six of their regular-season games.