FAIRFIELD – The high school football season is only in its second week of play and teams across the region are already facing disruption from the Covid-19 pandemic.
Vanden and Will C. Wood had to scramble to find new opponents and Fairfield had to cancel their first game of the season due to opponents sidelined by the Covid outbreaks in their ranks.
Vanden was supposed to host Franklin from Elk Grove, but instead former Superior California Athletic League and Capital Valley Conference rival River City of West Sacramento will come to George A. Gammon Field.
“Franklin informed us mid-morning (Wednesday) that they had had a handful of positive Covid tests on their varsity team,” Vikings coach Sean Murphy said in an email. “We were able to find River City as a replacement in the afternoon. They had a similar problem. Franklin confirmed a few hours ago that they will be bringing a junior varsity team to Vanden (Friday).
In a similar situation, Wood was expected to play at Casa Roble in Orangevale, but instead hosts El Camino in Sacramento.
“Casa Roble has been placed in a 10-day quarantine for the Covid protocol,” Wildcats coach Jacob Wright said in an email. “We were able to resume the El Camino game because Highlands had not finished their scheduled game.”
Fairfield, meanwhile, sees its season opener with Bethel canceled. Eddie Wilson, FHS sporting director, said he was told earlier this week that the Jaguars were in trouble with Covid and were to briefly suspend their season.
“There were a few early conversations Tuesday about different possibilities,” Wilson said in an email. “We officially learned on Wednesday that they won’t be able to play on Friday. We are working to play Tuesday. No effort (was made) to find another opponent.
Where the Vikings and Wildcats had their weeks off available later in the season to find a game 10, the Falcons had their time off last week and have no open dates available.
Fairfield coach Merwyn Matuskado said the situation was driving him “crazy” because “I really wanted to get the kids out, because we never got a chance to do anything except face each other. We wanted to have a chance to hit another colored jersey.
If the Falcons could host Bethel on Tuesday, Matsukado said he hoped to see their next game at Vallejo postponed by a day until September 4.
Other games this week featuring teams from the region have Armijo going to Pioneer of Woodland, Rodriguez going to American Canyon, Vacaville hosting Oak Ridge of El Dorado Hills and Vacaville Christian hosting Stone Ridge Christian of Merced on Friday, and Rio Vista playing Millennium at West of Tracy Saturday.