AURORA | The first local team to miss a game in the coronavirus-shortened fall prep football season is Eaglecrest, which has gone into a 14-day quarantine school officials confirmed Monday night.
Eaglecrest is one of two 4-0 teams in Class 5A — Columbine is the other — that will miss their Week 5 regular season and the Raptors will not play in Week 6, either. The Rebels and Raptors were ranked Nos. 3 and 5 in the 5A football poll released earlier in the day by CHSAANow.com.
Athletic director Vince Orlando confirmed to the Sentinel Tuesday that Eaglecrest will not be able to play its scheduled Week 6 game against undefeated and top-ranked Cherry Creek as the team’s quarantine won’t expire until Nov. 14, two days after the game was scheduled.
Columbine announced it would miss its next game, a showdown with No. 8 Ralston Valley, via social media (@CHSRebelball), while Eaglecrest’s Week 5 opponent was to be winless Prairie View. Rather than a no contest, Prairie View picked up a contest with Palmer to replace its game with Eaglecrest per the Brighton Blade.
In a letter dated Nov. 1, the Cherry Creek School District notified Eaglecrest parents and guardians that two students tested positive for COVID-19, one that had last been at school on Oct. 29 and the other Oct. 30. The students that had close contact with those students were placed in quarantine.
“Based on guidance from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and a public health investigation, we are quarantining 26 students who were in close contact (within six feet for 15 minutes or longer) with either of the students who tested positive,” the letter read. “The parents of these students have been contacted directly, you do not need to take any action. We are notifying you as part of our efforts to be transparent.”
Coloradopreps.com posted a list on Twitter of teams in Colorado that will miss Week 5, which includes teams in multiple classifications.
Teams that have announced they cannot play this week because of COVID.
Sangre De Cristo
Hi Plains also forfeited their game w/Stratton/Liberty today & Pinnacle has done the same with their scheduled game w/Holyoke on Saturday#copreps
— Colorado Preps (@coloradopreps) November 3, 2020
While the health and safety of the players and staff is the primary concern, both Eaglecrest and Columbine could still qualify for the eight-team 5A playoffs. CHSAA’s guidelines for the fall season (and the one planned for the spring) included a provision that teams would need to play a minimum of four games to be postseason eligible.
Coach Shawn Marsh’s Eaglecrest team stayed undefeated with a 23-13 Week 4 Centennial League victory over Arapahoe — in which it rallied from a halftime deficit (this time one point) for the third time in four games. The Raptors defeated Cherokee Trail, Grandview and Overland in the first three weeks.
So far, Cherokee Trail, Grandview, Overland, Regis Jesuit and Smoky Hill — the other Aurora programs active in the fall season — have yet to miss a game, but with COVID-19 numbers spiking in the state, the final two weeks of the regular season and beyond seemed anything but assured for anybody.
Cherry Creek schools officials say are currently analyzing metrics used to determine whether to continue to keep schools open in light of surging infection in the region.
Courtney Oakes is Sentinel Colorado Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. IG: Sentinel Prep Sports