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Moniteau Cancels Football Game Against Central Clarion Because of COVID Concerns

CHERRY TWP, Pa. (EYT/D9) — COVID-19 has already claimed a Week 2 high school football game.

Because of COVID issues at Moniteau High School, the football game between the Warriors and Central Clarion was canceled early Monday afternoon.

(Photo by Kathy Sutton)

Moniteau superintendent Thomas Samosky said it was a difficult decision to scuttle the game, which was to be the Warriors’ home opener Friday night, but the district had no other options.

He hopes the game can be rescheduled at a later date.

“We had to follow our COVID-19 Health and Safety Plan,” Samosky said. “We had to enact contact tracing that resulted in us making the decision to reschedule the game. Due to the protocol, we don’t feel that we’ll have our kids prepared to play for this Friday.”

Samonsky said he doesn’t anticipate the issue dragging on past this week.

He said the decision to pull the plug on this week’s game was heart-wrenching.

“It’s a challenge for our coach,” Samosky said. “We were consultation with our coach, our principals, it was a very challenging decision. We want to ensure that our kids have the opportunity to play a full season. We’re gonna do everything in our power to reschedule this game.”

Moniteau is coming off a 21-6 loss to Kane. Warriors’ coach Bob Rottman was disappointed that his team wouldn’t have a chance to build this week off of the strides they made against the Wolves.

Sophomore quarterback David Dessicino threw for 178 yards and a touchdown in the loss. He connected with Cooper Boozel 10 times for 130 yards and a score.

“We were kind of excited to get back at it this week,” the coach said. “I think we’re only a few adjustments away.”

It’s the second consecutive week Central Clarion has lost its opponent to COVID issues.

Punxsutawney canceled its game against the Wildcats on the morning of the game Friday because of COVID concerns. Central Clarion instead played Slippery Rock and fell to the Rockets on the road, 38-7.

It’s unclear when the Cental Clarion-Moniteau game will be made up.

Samosky, as well as other school administrators across the state and country, had thought COVID-19 was behind them a few months ago. But with the spread of the Delta Variant, schedules may be in flux all fall.

“I think it’s a it’s a challenge for every school district,” Samosky said. “We want to ensure that our kids still have a positive experience and have it be as normal as possible. But we recognize that COVID-19 is not going away and we need to be vigilant and implement protocols that ensure that all of our kids have access, not only to education, but to extracurricular activities.”