VIERA, Fla. – For the first time in 2021, a Brevard County high school football game has been canceled due to a COVID-19 quarantine, this time involving Satellite High students, reports News 6 partner Florida Today.
The Scorps’ preseason game at Viera will not be played Friday. The number of Satellite students being quarantined was 182 as of the end of the school day, either through contact with cases at school or in the community. The number of football players exposed was not released, but the team’s weekly practices have been canceled at least until Monday.
In a note to parents, Satellite principal Bobby Pruett said the “safety and health of our players, staff and our family is our top concern.” The decision was made in accordance with CDC and department of health guidelines.
It’s the first cancellation of an area high school game this year, in the first week of games. Most Brevard teams will play preseason games on Friday at 7 p.m., though Bayside will play its game Thursday night.
Last year, the Florida High School Athletic Association, which governs high school sports in the state, delayed the start of all seasons from mid-August to late September, and local teams were forced to play regular-season games inside the county.
Several Brevard schools faced at least one game cancellation last year, and there was uncertainty about what 2021 might bring as teams opened practice on Aug. 2. The FHSAA has not yet announced if it will waive the minimum number of games played to qualify for the playoffs as it did last year.
School board member Matt Susin, himself a former coach, said his “heart broke” when he learned of the cancellation.
“Here are kids who have worked so hard,” Susin said. “You get 10 games to play, and to lose one of them just hurts.”
Yet, the decision was preventative in nature.
“Due to the high number of positive cases, we have to look out for the other teams,” he said.
Satellite will open its regular season Aug. 27 at Lake Howell. Viera will visit Rockledge the same night but may find a replacement opponent for this week’s preseason game. Check 321preps.com for any announcement.
According to Katherine Allen, community relations coordinator with Brevard Public Schools, decisions on canceling sports activities in Brevard during the 2021-22 academic year will be made on a case-by-case basis.
“It’s not a threshold thing, and it’s not a numbers things,” she said. “We’re trying to control the spread where we can.”
Students exposed to COVID are typically quarantined up to 14 days, though there are exceptions. Those with proof of vaccination or a lab-verified case of COVID in the last 90 days — provided they are asymptomatic — can opt out of the quarantine.
Though, again, there is a Brevard Schools process to determine quarantine rules on a case-by-case basis, athletes being held out can return to practice earlier after a negative test.