Photo provided by Talawanda School District
The Talawanda Braves expect to take the field at 7 p.m., Sept. 17, at Dayton Carroll High School after canceling last week’s football game because of team COVID-19 exposure.
According to Jay Volker, Talawanda’s head football coach, one player on the squad tested positive for the virus prior to the Sept. 10 game. At the team’s previous game, players spent 15 minutes together in the locker room during halftime, which is the time limit for indoor exposure that requires contact tracing under Butler County Health Department guidelines.
Volker said there was no footage in the locker room to show who was around the player that tested positive, so all unvaccinated players were required to quarantine. According to Holli Morrish, director of communication for the district, the quarantine meant the team did not have enough players available to take the field last week — the Sept. 10 game against New Richmond had to be canceled.
In an email announcing the cancellation last week, Morrish said several other teams and games in the region had been similarly affected by quarantines.
According to Volker, the COVID-19 guidelines the team must follow are solely coming from the Butler County Health Department. He said the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) has given him no information regarding quarantining players who have been in contact with people who test positive for COVID-19.
Volker said the team practiced minimally this past week with the players that weren’t quarantining. Among those quarantining, Volker said he believes seniors were impacted the most.
“I know our seniors are probably more affected than anybody else because you’re like, oh, my gosh. You had seven games left. Now you have six games, right?” he said.
The missed game will not be rescheduled, he said.