Heritage football and Adams Central football and volleyball all learned Thursday that their seasons would be put on pause due to COVID-19, but all three programs plan to return in time for their sectionals.
Heritage football (2-5) will be quarantined until Oct. 20 after a student in the program tested positive. Meanwhile, the entire Adams Central school district will be reverting to online-only instruction Monday through Oct. 22 because two positive cases have put 80 students in quarantine. Although the superintendent's order to close the classrooms allows falls sports to continue, football and volleyball events this weekend have been canceled.
So far, it appears that all affected teams will still be able to compete in sectional events. Heritage was not able to play its Friday game against Prairie Heights and won't play its season finale against Jay County. On a “Sons of Liberty” podcast released Friday, Heritage coach Casey Kolkman said the team plans to play its first sectional game at Norwell at 7 p.m. Oct. 24, which would give them four full days of practice to prepare.
Adams Central athletic director Graham McCallister wrote in an email that the Flying Jets' cross country teams will be permitted to run at the Bellmont sectional today as planned.
“Due to the number of students in quarantine, we cancelled all of our events for the rest of the week and middle school football on Tuesday,” McAllister wrote. “We wanted to preserve our varsity teams' ability to continue to participate in the state tournament events. Our varsity sports will continue to practice and prepare for their respective state tournament games.”
Canceling this weekend's football game and volleyball tournaments will hopefully cut down on the opportunities to spread the virus among Adams Central athletes and coaches and, if anyone has already been infected, give time for any symptoms to appear before the state tournaments begin. McAllister wrote that the volleyball team (16-7) will be allowed to compete in the Bluffton sectional starting Tuesday. The Jets football team (5-2), currently ranked 6th in Class A, plans to play its regular season finale against Woodlan next Friday before opening the state tournament at Fremont on Oct. 23.
Prairie Heights, which was originally scheduled to play Heritage, and Bluffton, which was to play Adams Central, hastily rescheduled and announced Thursday night that they would play each other.
In the podcast, Kolkman said a member of the program had been home sick and tested positive.
“I think if there was ever a time you didn't have to motivate kids, it would be now,” Kolkman said. “We have to motivate them through this experience. But I think Tuesday, boy, when they're allowed to come back to school and go back to practice, I think there will be a new sense of thankfulness and joy.”