Schools struggle with game cancellations

St. Vincent football coach Tim Schumer talks with then senior quarterback Garrett Dobbelare during a game. This would have been a welcome sight as the Indians football team will miss the first two weeks of the season as all the sport programs are quarantined until Sept. 5. Perryville sports will have the same treatment from Sept. 8-14 as the school goes 100 percent virtual.

By 
Justin Hotop

This past Friday night was one of the most unusual for St. Vincent football coach and athletic director Tim Schumer. While most high school football teams were out on the gridiron for their week 1 games, he and his team were stuck in quarantine.
“It was a very weird feeling, Schumer said of missing out on the team’s week 1 contest with Park Hills, “We having been sitting around and not being able to have practice after school. We certainly didn’t like it, but it’s what we had to do this week.“
The St. Vincent football team, along with the volleyball and cross-country team, has postponed all events through September 5. Schumer noted that as of Monday, he had three players out of quarantine.
At least for Schumer’s football team, there will be no widespread changes in policy and procedure during practice or games when the Indians return to practice.
“We won’t have something new that we didn’t have before,” Schumer said. “We will still be taking all the precautions we can. We will focus a little more on it and harp on it more because of what we had to go through this past week. We will still have them wear masks or gaiters and have them wash their hands as much as possible.”
Perryville is facing its own challenges with COVID-19. With the rise in virus cases within the county to more than 100, the district has entered into its “orange” level protocol which signals the students to go 100 percent virtual or online learning. Part of that orange protocol is that the sports programs will not be able to participate in games from Sept. 8-14.
Everything scheduled through Monday, Sept. 7, like the Friday night football game against Windsor, will still be played. Perryville Athletic Director Justin Dreyer noted that he hopes contests will be able to pick back up on Sept. 15. Perryville will reschedule the missed contests, with any conference opponents being the first priority.
Things continue to change as Perryville made some changes to its fan attendance policy. Originally, Perryville was going to allow 50 percent capacity to their home games on campus, but changed that procedure in late August to more of a pass list system.
Participants (team, cheerleaders, coaches) will be allowed 4 “spectators” per participant. Each participant will be provided 4 tickets at least 24 hours before the contest. If you do not have a ticket, you will not be let into the contest. Senior night exception: On senior night, each senior will get 6 tickets Games will not be open to the public or the student body. Masks are required to be worn when entering the facility, if a person does not have a mask, they will not be allowed to enter.
As far as games not on campus, but at public venues such as soccer and softball, there will be no pass list, however, if social distancing becomes a problem, there will be restrictions put in place. St. Vincent will have similar rules as well with on-campus events. Dreyer said that the change was for the betterment of the community and players.
“After sitting down and thinking, our goal is to have the teams play as much as they can,” Dreyer said. “We thought that if we didn’t limit the fans more at our home games that would not be possible.”
Safety is the name of the game during these times and Schumer and Dreyer will be happy to get back on the field after Sept. 5 and Sept. 15 respectively.
“Once we get past this first onset of the virus, hopefully it will be smooth sailing after this,” Schumer said. “We will have to take it week-by-week like everyone else.”

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