COVID-19 cases have led to the cancellation of at least eight Minnesota high school football games scheduled for this weekend, although several teams found other opponents or were still looking.
A game between Kasson-Mantorville and Mankato East, set for Saturday, was canceled after two separate COVID cases involving the Kasson-Mantorville team.
“We had a player who was out at one practice and then tested positive for COVID,’’ KoMets coach Joel Swanson said in a statement. “Because we were following guidelines, we did not have all of our ninth- through 12th-grade players on the same field, but we had another COVID incidence that occurred over the previous weekend.’’
That led to quarantines for position coaches “and all of the players that were on the field for an extended amount of time with the player,’’ said Swanson, in quarantine for 14 days.
He called it “one game to give up for the safety of all of our players, coaches, their families and the opponents and the community. It is tough on the players but it is a ‘no-brainer’ in the big picture of life. Another lesson in life and we continue to adjust and adapt.”
Swanson said he expects his team to be back at practice Tuesday in preparation for an Oct. 16 game.
Mankato East was able to schedule a replacement home game against Worthington on Saturday. Worthington had been seeking a game because Fairmont, its scheduled opponent on Saturday, is in a school district that recently shifted to distance learning because of an increase in county COVID cases.
School sports teams in districts forced to use distance learning are not allowed to practice or play games during that time. Schools such as those in Minneapolis and St. Paul, which chose distance learning for other reasons, can still play sports.
In Roseville, Concordia Academy is seeking another opponent after a game Saturday against St. Agnes was canceled. Concordia Academy posted on Twitter that St. Agnes notified it of “multiple varsity football players quarantined due to COVID-19’’ and that it had “been without several football coaches as well.’’
Meanwhile, Osakis has canceled its first two games after a COVID case was reported, according to the Alexandria Echo Press. All varsity players and most varsity coaches will quarantine for 14 days. The team was scheduled to play at Browerville on Friday and at home against Royalton on Oct. 14.
At least two more teams — Paynesville and Park Christian of Moorhead — are listed on the Minnesota Football Coaches Association website as looking for opponents this weekend because of COVID-related cancellations. They appear to stem from games being dropped when school districts shifted to distance learning because of an increase in area COVID cases.
Paynesville was scheduled to play Friday against Montevideo, whose school district shifted on Monday to distance learning. Similarly, Park Christian’s game against Laporte this Friday was canceled after Laporte schools moved to distance learning.
Brainerd and Waterville-Elysian-Morristown also have canceled games for two weeks as part of more comprehensive school activities restrictions tied to district shifts to distance learning.