KANSAS CITY, Kan. — High school football season has hit an unforeseen delay in Wyandotte County.
A preseason scrimmage has been canceled Friday night after two of the event’s three teams turned up with COVID-19 cases.
“I don’t want football to end like last year,” Wyandotte High defensive lineman Antuan Jones said.
The football season isn’t off to a good start at Schlagle High School in Kansas City, Kansas. The Stallions are canceling their jamboree, a three-team preseason event also featuring Wyandotte High and Bonner Springs High.
Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools leaders said one Schlagle player had a positive case this week and, as a result, players and coaches who aren’t vaccinated need to quarantine. The district couldn’t confirm how many students and staff would have to do so.
“It’s better for us not to play, but still, I want to work something out,” Jones said.
Jones told FOX4 he understands, but he wants to play football. It’s getting hard to attract college coaches. KCK football teams didn’t get to play last fall. KCKPS suspended fall sports over COVID-19 concerns and only had a shortened season in February with only in-district play allowed.
“I understand people are getting sick, but if someone hasn’t been in contact with us for a couple of weeks and he only caught it recently, he shouldn’t be connected to us,” Jones said. “I wouldn’t want anyone to get that.”
The KCK teen said most football teams are requiring masks for players once they take off their helmets.
But public health data shows positive COVID-19 cases in Wyandotte County continue to climb.
“If you tested positive, stay home,” Jones said simply. “We really emphasize: Don’t come around the team if you think you’re sick or if you think you have it or anything.”
Schlagle High isn’t alone in its COVID-19 problem. Bonner Springs High was also due to play in this event, but the Braves also had a player test positive for COVID this week.
Bonner Springs’ superintendent told FOX4 that player was held out of practice all week. Bonner Springs will play in an isolated event Friday night instead where they’re kept away from other teams.
Across county lines in Johnson County, a similar event between Blue Valley North and Blue Valley Northwest has also been canceled Friday night due to COVID concerns.
High school football’s regular season begins Friday night for Missouri schools and next week for Kansas schools.
Kansas City, Kansas, Public Schools shared the following statement with FOX4:
“Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools has been notified that a student-athlete at Schlagle High School and Wyandotte High School have tested positive for COVID-19.
“While fully vaccinated student-athletes and coaches not showing symptoms will NOT have to quarantine, unvaccinated student-athletes and coaches are required to quarantine if they are deemed to have been exposed through contact tracing.
“KCKPS follows all district mitigation practices, along with KSHSAA guidelines.
“This is a developing situation that the district is working very closely with our families on. For a look at the cases in the KCK School District, we ask families to visit our website at www.kckps.org and click Covid-19 Dashboard.”