The NFL’s Tennessee Titans and New England Patriots might be the highest-profile football teams to see their schedules impacted by the novel coronavirus, but they aren’t the only ones.
Citing elevated case numbers in the Newport News region, Fredericksburg Christian School has cancelled a pair of upcoming games, against Portsmouth Christian and Atlantic Shores.
“The administration felt that it wasn’t a good idea to go down there this year and play,” FCS coach Billy Thomas said Monday. “We didn’t want to risk a football game shutting down the whole school.”
The cancellations mean that the Eagles (1–0) will remain out of action until at least Oct. 17, when they could face the Virginia Ducks, a home school team. Thomas said FCS is still determining whether that opponent’s coronavirus protocols align with his program’s.
Thomas has tried his best to keep his players engaged during the extended layoff, crafting intersquad games and scrimmages with varied rosters and giving the team Fridays off.
“It’s tough. This is one of the more challenging years just keeping the kids interested,” he said.
The break has also allowed his squad to heal from a bevy of ankle sprains and other nagging injuries. Senior running back Jesse King, who missed FCS’s season-opening victory over ACTS, should be available the next time the Eagles take the field, Thomas said.
Later this season, FCS will host a team from Chapel Hill, N.C. and travel to Roanoke’s North Cross on Nov. 7. Of course, that schedule—like much of life in 2020—is subject to change.
“If a billion-dollar business is cancelling games, we don’t need to be taking unnecessary risks,” Thomas said.
FCS and St. Michael will not play this fall.
Joey LoMonaco: 540/368-5045
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