EL RENO, Okla. (KFOR) – El Reno and Piedmont’s football game set for Friday night was canceled due to an El Reno player testing positive and numerous close contacts.
It was going to be El Reno’s first home game of the season. Instead, the lights stayed off on Friday night, leaving their opponent, Piedmont, scrambling to find someone to play.
“We’ve limited so much and we’ve taken so much away from them because of the virus,” said Craig McVay, El Reno Public Schools superintendent.
“This is the world we live in, and these types of things are going to happen,” said James White, Piedmont Public Schools superintendent.
McVay said it all started when one of their star players tested positive after their first game of the season against Cache.
“They had a player that tested positive,” McVay said.
According to McVay, a player for Cache got sick in the first half. He was taken out in the second half. Fast forward to Wednesday, that same player’s test came back positive. El Reno’s player tested positive the next morning.
“Do you know how many football players were affected on the team?” KFOR asked.
“All of them,” McVay said. “Because he plays both sides of the ball, he took down our offense, our defense and our special teams; it didn’t leave us with much.”
The team was forced into quarantine.
“We didn’t, at the time, have a way to separate him from each squad,” McVay said.
“It could have very easily been us on the other end of that, so we empathize with that,” White said.
Piedmont’s superintendent, James White, said they immediately started looking for another opponent.
“Unfortunately, we weren’t able to find anyone on that short of notice,” White said.
El Reno’s next game isn’t for two more weeks, when they play Noble. They are forced to sit out next week, as well, due to quarantine requirements. Piedmont is set to play Putnam City North next Friday. Both said they are hoping they can get through the season without any more hiccups.
“We all want the same thing, which is to keep our kids and our staff and our families healthy,” White said.
“Once we get through the Delta, maybe we can get this behind us and really focus on school and our activities and games and stuff like that moving forward,” McVay said.
The Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association said that they are not making teams forfeit district games due to COVID-19. This was not a district game. McVay said he believes the rules make this game a forfeit.
The Oklahoma Second School Activities Association’s rules can be downloaded below:
Featured below are Austin Breasette’s full interviews with McVay and White: