GAYLESVILLE – Gaylesville football coach Brian Knapp was on the football field painting lines Thursday for Friday’s scheduled home game against Ragland. He was then notified two kids who are a part of the Trojan football program had tested positive for COVID-19.
“We had two young men, last night they woke up, and they didn’t feel well. To my knowledge, they went and got tested and they tested positive,” Knapp said. “It wasn’t anything where they had symptoms at school, from what I gather. It was just one of those things where they went home, they got sick and they got tested. Obviously they did the right thing. They let us know there were some positive tests involved, which is what they should have done. It wasn’t anything where we had to send anybody home in terms of being sick.”
As a result, the Trojans’ game with Ragland has now been canceled due to quarantine guidelines, along with Gaylesville’s next two Class 1A, Region 7 contests: Sept. 4 at Appalachian and Sept. 11 at home against Coosa Christian.
Knapp said the Alabama High School Athletic Association, along with Ragland and officials who were to work the game have all been notified.
Gaylesville opened the 2020 season last week with a 28-21 victory at Class 2A Whitesburg Christian.
“If I interpret the rule correctly, when you count the days of quarantine and you count the mandatory five days of conditioning, you’re talking about being out for the next three games. That’s a hit,” Knapp said.
“We got that first game under our belt. We finally got to hit somebody else, and I felt like our physical conditioning from the hitting and the running standpoint. Obviously it was getting better. There’s no doubt this is a huge setback for us.”
Knapp said all football preparation activities have stopped and all players had been sent home.
“We’re just trying to figure this thing out. I’m just kind of shell shocked right now to be honest,” Knapp said. “We’re hit for the next three weeks. I’m not going to see my kids for 14 days. They’ve got to sit at home. We can’t practice. We can’t lift. We can’t condition. It’s a bad situation. It’s a setback no doubt.
“We just have to take it in stride and hope everybody can come back with a negative test. Hopefully we can make up some games down the road. I don’t know if some provisions can be made in terms of postseason. I don’t know how it’s going to play out. I guess it depends on who faces the same predicament we’re in.”
Knapp said he feels bad for the kids who worked hard during the summer to get ready for the season.
“You hate it for the kids more than anything. That’s the bottom line,” he said. “They’re the ones who put so much into it. You feel for them.”