At least three more high school football games this week have been sidelined by COVID-19.
Friday’s scheduled matchup between Hermon and Cape Elizabeth and Saturday’s contest between Mount View of Thorndike and Stearns-Schenck of Millinocket will not be played due to coronavirus concerns.
In addition, the Week 1 game between John Bapst of Bangor and Oak Hill of Wales also has been canceled, according to John Bapst athletic administrator and head football coach Dan O’Connell.
“We had a positive case and we had players who needed to quarantine that left us in a numbers situation that’s just not safe to play a varsity football game,” O’Connell said, who added that the game will not be made up.
Those cancellations follow Tuesday’s news that Friday night’s scheduled game between Maine Central Institute of Pittsfield and Leavitt of Turner Center also had been canceled due to COVID-19.
Hermon High School athletic administrator Rick Sinclair phoned his counterpart at Cape Elizabeth on Wednesday with word that the Hawks would be unable to make the trip to southern Maine for the mutual season opener.
“We’ve got COVID issues,” he said.
Sinclair said four members of the football team have tested positive for COVID-19 since preseason practices began Aug. 16, but this marks the first cancellation related to any of those cases and subsequent contact tracing.
“[Cape Elizabeth] was disappointed but they understand,” Sinclair said. “What can we do? We can’t send 15 or 20 freshmen down there, that doesn’t work. We just can’t field a team this week. That’s the way it is.”
Sinclair said the game will not be rescheduled.
Sinclair didn’t have a count of players who are being quarantined for 10 days through contact tracing as school officials await the results of some tests.
He said next Monday’s junior varsity football game between Hermon and Bucksport also has been canceled.
“I can tell you that I’ve had more COVID dealings in the 2021-22 school year than I had in all the 2020-21 school year already,” Sinclair added.
Several players from the Mount View High School of Thorndike squad also are under quarantine due to close contact with someone outside the team who had tested positive for the coronavirus, said Tom Lynch, the school’s athletic administrator and assistant principal.
That left the Mustangs with approximately 10 players, an insufficient number to host Stearns-Schenck of Millinocket in their 8-player football game Saturday.
“There’s a lot of COVID in Waldo County right now,” Lynch said. “The kids found out quite by accident that they had been in contact, but once we found the positive cases and where they had been and who else had been there and all that, most of these kids had had direct contact. We’ve been very fortunate as far as the number of positives, the problem has been the number of direct contacts.”
Lynch said chances are “pretty slim” that Mount View will be able to make up its football game with Stearns-Schenck, which would leave the Mustangs two games short of a full regular-season schedule.
Mount View’s Oct. 2 home game against Washington Academy already had been wiped out when the East Machias school opted last week to cancel its 2021 season due to low player numbers.
Stearns-Schenck will still have a game this weekend, as that team now will play a countable 8-player contest at 4 p.m. Saturday at Mount Desert Island of Bar Harbor, according to MDI athletic administrator Bunky Dow.
MDI had an opening on its schedule after its Week 1 game against Washington Academy was canceled.