NEW BETHLEHEM, Pa. (EYT/D9) — It’s becoming a familiar refrain: COVID-19 issues canceling games.
Early Tuesday, The Keystone football team had to scuttle its scheduled game with Cameron County set for Friday night because of COVID protocols that left the team with not enough players. The Panthers’ volleyball team was also affected with four players out for tonight’s match with Karns City.
Late Tuesday afternoon, mere hours before Clarion was set to take on Redbank Valley in an intriguing volleyball matchup in New Bethlehem, that game was canceled because of COVID.
“We canceled late this afternoon due to COVID concerns and contact tracing,” said Redbank Valley coach Ashley Anderson. “I do not really know much more than that at this time.”
It was set to be a showdown between two 2020 District 9 champions. Clarion won the Class A D9 title a year ago and went on to win the PIAA championship. Redbank Valley claimed the Class 2A crown in the district and made it all the way to the state quarterfinals.
It’s unknown if the match will be made up at a future date.
Clarion senior Korrin Burns and her teammates were sitting on the bus waiting to depart for Redbank Valley when they received the news the match was off.
“(Coach Shari Campbell) told us to go inside,” Burns said. “Then she told us we weren’t gonna have our game.”
Instead, Clarion practiced. It wasn’t the same as squaring off against Redbank in a match the whole team was looking forward to playing.
“I think our whole team was pretty excited about the idea of a little bit of competition,” Burns said. “We were pretty disappointed.”
Clarion will play Tyrone Wednesday night.
Last year in their quest for a state title, the Bobcats played the entire season under the uncertainty of COVID, fearing their season could be over at any time.
They are playing under the same conditions again, it seems, as they chase another PIAA crown.
Burns, though, said it may help the team in a weird way.
“It’s a little scary,” Burns said. “We have to play like every moment on the court could be our last. We did that last year and, honestly, it made us better because we were playing like we had nothing to lose, playing like it could be our last time.”