AURORA | The Overland football team’s pandemic-shortened fall season got shortened again when it lost its Week 7 opponent to quarantine.
Coach Kyle Reese’s Trailblazers had a game against fellow non-playoff qualifier Doherty scheduled for Friday, but the Spartans announced via social media that the program would be unable to play due to COVID-19 quarantine.
Overland searched for an opponent to fill in, but we unable to find one, which brought an end to the season. The Trailblazers finished 0-6 in the first season under Reese.
“This season was truly an experience unlike any other,” Overland said in a social media statement. “We want to thank our seniors for their leadership, hard work and dedication to the Overland football program. Thank you to our players, coaches and parents for persevering through these unprecedented times. We were honored to have the ability to start and finish a football season during a pandemic.”
That leaves two Week 7 games among Aurora non-qualifiers, both of which are scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday: Grandview vs. Columbine at Legacy Stadium and Smoky Hill vs. Fossil Ridge at Stutler Bowl.
Overland hired Reese — a former assistant coach with Cherry Creek — and the program was originally scheduled to play in the Metro 2 conference, essentially taking the place of Smoky Hill in the conference with a number of building programs.
The coronavirus pandemic changed everything, returning the Trailblazers to the Centennial League to face a rugged group that includes Class 5A playoff qualifiers Cherry Creek (6-0), Eaglecrest (4-1) and Cherokee Trail (4-2), plus another postseason regular in Grandview (3-3), improved Arapahoe and Smoky Hill, which had gone undefeated in the past two regular seasons.
The Trailblazers played Legacy in their opening game Oct. 9 and nearly got Reese a win in his debut before falling 13-10. Overland then fell to its five Centennial League opponents, but gave rival Smoky Hill a significant challenge in a 49-39 loss with the Wagon Wheel traveling trophy at stake.
Courtney Oakes is Sentinel Colorado Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @aurorasports. IG: Sentinel Prep Sports