CEDAR BLUFF – Jonathan McWhorter is always talking about the things his football team can and can’t control. He said since the coronavirus outbreak began they’ve talked about the possibility of missing some guys this season, and they have.
Now, McWhorter is one of them.
McWhorter is currently in quarantine for COVID-19 and will be for 10 days. He was tested for the virus on Monday morning. McWhorter noticed he had sinus congestion on Sunday, then woke with a fever on Monday morning. He had his temperature taken in both ears and it was over 100 degrees.
Speaking by telephone on Tuesday afternoon, McWhorter said he didn’t have a fever at that time, just congestion and a cough.
“You never want to be in a position to make anybody sick or anything like that, so under the circumstances, I just thought it would be prudent to go on and get tested. I did yesterday morning and it was positive,” McWhorter said.
“I have felt a lot worse and have been to school and toughed through the day with various things over the years. I had double hernia surgery about 10 years ago, and other than that, I’ve never missed a day of school in 21 years for sickness, but this is a completely different thing,” McWhorter said. “I started having symptoms Sunday. I didn’t have a fever until Monday. I’m hoping they will count that as my first day instead of yesterday (Monday). If they do that, I can come back (next) Wednesday. If not, it’ll be (next) Thursday.”
Cedar Bluff defensive coordinator Torey McDaniel is taking the head coaching duties for the Tigers in McWhorter’s absence.
The Tigers (3-4, 3-1 Class 1A, Region 7) travel to Appalachian (1-5, 1-3) on Friday. It will be their first game in 15 days. Cedar Bluff won by forfeit from Gaylesville last week due to several Trojan players in quarantine for COVID-19.
McWhorter said he’s been in contact with the team through the social media platform Zoom. He expects the Tigers to get through these next few days well without him.
“I have tremendous confidence in those men (Cedar Bluff’s assistant coaches). They do a really good job,” McWhorter said. “This is not a one-man show. We all have our role. Obviously they’ll have to step in a little more without me being there, but they all know what exactly needs to be done for us to be successful. I have full confidence in them.
“I spoke to the kids yesterday (Monday) via Zoom. We’ll probably do that again the next couple of days. They understand the importance for us. The only thing we’re focused on this week is if we win, we’re probably going to be hosting a playoff game. That’s the only thing they need to be focused on this week, whether me or anybody else isn’t there. That’s what their focus should be on.
“Nothing will change. Practice will still have the same structure. We’ll still do the same things if I would have been there. I don’t really expect anything to be different whether I’m there or not.
“Whether it’s kids or whether it’s coaches, whatever the case may be, we just have to stay focused and control the things we can control, which is our attitude and our effort, just focus on working hard. Our goal is the same, regardless of who is or isn’t there. We’ve got to go to a pretty tough place to play in Appalachian. We haven’t been there in several years, but it’s a place Cedar Bluff hasn’t had a whole lot of success. We’ve just really got to be ready to go Friday. That’s really all that matters.”
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