Officials at Richland High School confirmed Thursday that the Raiders’ non-region football game Friday against visiting Summertown has been canceled because of positive COVID-19 tests involving members of the coaching staff.
“We have a couple of cases among our football staff,” principal Micah Landers said. “Based on protocols we’ve been asked to follow by (Giles County) and the state, it’s a wise move to not put anybody else in this mess at this juncture.”
This will mark the second game in as many weeks that Summertown has had canceled. The Eagles had been scheduled to play at Collinwood on Sept. 4, before the Trojans had to suspend activities in the aftermath of one of their team members testing positive.
Collinwood’s game Friday at Loretto was canceled as well.
Summertown coach Les Mote hurriedly made phone calls after receiving word of the cancellation to find a replacement game. The Eagles are now set to travel to Donelson Christian tomorrow night at 7:30 p.m.
“There’s no guarantee you’ll get to play next week. We’ve been playing four weeks and two of our games have been canceled. We just need to get on the field,” Mote said. “I’m not worried about winning or losing; obviously I’d love to win, but our kids just need to play.”
Landers was uncertain as to whether Richland — which played Collinwood in Week 2 — would have to cancel its Sept. 18 game at Lookout Valley.
“I would love to tell you it’s the only game that would be affected, but I have some concerns that it might affect us over the course of two weeks,” he said. “You’re looking at any persons — player or coach — that’s designed as having ‘close contact’, they’re out of pocket for two weeks.
“At such an early point, we’re just sitting back now waiting to see where it takes us. Currently we have no players (affected), but we have enough of our staff affected that we can’t send them out to compete. You hate to see anybody sick with it, but we think (the coaches) are better equipped to deal with it.”
Mt. Pleasant coach Bronson Bradley, whose team lost to Richland last weekend, confirmed that the Tigers will travel Friday to Fayetteville for a Region 5-1A matchup without two starters who have been quarantined.
“We have not had any sickness,” said Bradley, who was hesitant to connect any issues with his team to his most recent opponent. “We just found out about those guys, but right now we’re still in line to play.
“(Athletic program-wide) we’ve got some on quarantine, but none that would cancel any sports.”
Richland is not scheduled to resume region play until Sept. 27 against visiting Fayetteville.
“We hope it doesn’t interfere with our region schedule down the road,” Landers said. “Right now, we don’t have any indication that it’s going to affect any of our other programs.”
Attempts to reach Summertown officials for further comment are ongoing.
This is a developing story, check back for more updates as it continues.