Before kickoff, we already can see the Friday night football scoreboard.
COVID-19 3, Four Rivers Conference 0.
All three scheduled conference games for this week have been canceled due to COVID-19 cases and quarantines. Union, Pacific and Sullivan all had to call off their league contests this week.
Union (3-4) was scheduled to host St. James (1-6). Pacific (1-5) was set to travel to Hermann (2-5), and Sullivan (1-5) was set to host Owensville (5-1).
The schools able to play have been active in finding replacement opponents. With the COVID-19 cancellations being felt around the state, other teams have been seeking opponents as well.
Hermann now will host Monroe City. Owensville has picked up Lutheran South. St. James will travel to Scott City. All three games kick off at 7 p.m.
Pacific hopes to be able to play in Week 9 as its issues included quarantines and injuries. The Indians are scheduled to host St. James in the Oct. 23 game.
However, both Union and Sullivan already have canceled Week 9 games as well, hoping to get back to full strength for the playoffs. Union was scheduled to play at Hermann while Sullivan was set to host North County.
Hermann has found a replacement opponent and will play Oct. 23 at St. Francis Borgia Regional. Borgia had been without a Week 9 opponent since Carnahan canceled.
Union Athletic Director Dan Ridgeway stated that there were positive cases, and much of the rest of the team will have to quarantine due to contact.
The 14-day quarantine period will last through the final two weeks of the regular season and give the team a couple of days to prepare for the first round of the Class 4 District 2 playoffs.
“We are canceling the final two weeks of the regular season due to the same issues several schools around us have had to cancel — positive cases and the contact quarantines that are required by the health department,” Ridgeway said. “With the number of football players out, in the interest of safety, we had to cancel the two remaining varsity and two remaining junior varsity games scheduled for the regular season.”
After Week 7, Union was ranked second in Class 4 District 2 with 27.82 points.
Prior to the cancellation, Union had been the only team in Class 4 District 2 to be able to play in all seven games.
“While we never want to cancel any games, we are fortunate that we were able to play uninterrupted for seven straight weeks and still have a chance to continue our season with district play.”
This is the second time Pacific has had to call off a game. St. Clair canceled its Week 3 and Week 4 games against Pacific and Sullivan.
The Meramec Valley R-III School District released a statement Wednesday which included:
“... We feel fortunate to have had minimal exposures up to this point. However, due to a number of athletes having to quarantine due to a recent positive COVID-19 exposure on campus, coupled with a number of injured athletes, the football game for this Friday is canceled. At this time, the game with St. James Oct. 23 is still on.”
Pacific had a recent exposure on campus, which led to this quarantine.
“We want to emphasize that these exposures were not a result of practices or competitions and we do not have a situation of community spread amongst any of our teams,” the statement read. “Most of the exposures are a result of proximity to other students in class and social interactions outside of school.”
The district offered this advice:
“As COVID-19 cases are on the rise across Franklin County, please remain vigilant. Monitor yourself and your family for symptoms, which include fever, cough and shortness of breath. If you or any member of your family exhibit these symptoms, please stay home from school, contact your medical provider for advice, and notify your child(ren)’s school immediately.”
The district stated health is a top priority.
“There is nothing more important to the Meramec Valley School District than the safety and health of our students, our staff and their families.”
Sullivan announced Tuesday afternoon that it was calling off the rest of its regular season.
The school issued this statement:
“It is with regret that Sullivan High School must announce the varsity football games scheduled for Oct. 16, 2020, versus Owensville and Oct. 23, 2020, versus North County have been canceled. The JV football game scheduled for Oct. 19, 2020, against Owensville has also been canceled. The Sullivan High School football team will be unable to field a team those evenings due to quarantines related to COVID-19.
“Thank you for your understanding and continued support of Sullivan football.”
Sullivan also missed its Week 4 game against St. Clair due to quarantines with the Bulldogs.
Sullivan was ranked sixth in Class 4 District 2 after seven weeks with 20.93 points.