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Some Eagle River High School sports return after suspension; football season lost

Most of the high school sports and activities to resume this week
The Wolves 2020 season is cut short due to COVID-19
The Wolves 2020 season is cut short due to COVID-19(Scott Gross)
Published: Oct. 12, 2020 at 7:43 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - All Eagle River High School sporting events scheduled for last Friday and Saturday were canceled by the Anchorage School District it what it called a 48-hour stand down.

“On Friday, we knew we had an initial positive case [of COVID-19],” ASD Deputy Director of Secondary Education Martin Lang said. “It was likely going to result in putting the football team in a 14-day quarantine.”

Lang said as they began to investigate that situation, it was clear they needed more time to get a handle on what was happening.

Besides the one positive case, Lang says seven other students were symptomatic and a total of around 20 that the school district was tracking overall. The potentially high number of cases throughout Eagle River teams called for the two-day stand down. Lost was the final football game of the season, tennis competitions in the conference championships, the cross country state meet and senior night for the Eagle River gymnastics team.

“I know the disappointment is extremely real for families and kids in particular,” ASD Senior Director of Secondary Education Kersten Johnson said. “Especially on a weekend where there were multiple state events and high stakes for folks. So, that’s the unfortunate thing about this timing, we’re still doing what we think is best for their overall health.”

Johnson said in order for sports to continue, especially during the winter, families, athletes and coaches have to work together. The last outbreak came from a large party where athletes on multiple teams gathered. An individual at the party tested positive for COVID-19, potentially spreading to those in close contact with the individual. Johnson also says carpooling, sleepovers and hanging out should be avoided.

“We’ve tried to be really transparent with our families,” Johnson said. “With what our policies are, really talking to coaches and athletes about our mitigation plans but when your practicing for a championship event it doesn’t take away the sting. I understand that.”

Lang says Eagle River Varsity and JV football are in a 14-day quarantine that will end their season. Eagle River was slated to play Soldotna in the state playoffs this week. The tennis, cheer and riflery teams are also still in quarantine but could return this week.

Flag football, C-team football, gymnastics and swim and dive are all back this week.

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