Calhoun Falls’ football team has withdrawn from Friday’s WCTEL Classic jamboree because of a player coming in close contact with an individual at the charter school who tested positive for COVID-19.
Calhoun Falls was scheduled to play Dixie in the jamboree at Abbeville High School. The Flashes canceled practice Tuesday and will begin a 10-day quarantine.
“We’re trying to get out ahead of this and do the right thing by not causing an outbreak or further spread,” Calhoun Falls football coach Chris Watts said. “We want to take care of our student-athlete’s health first and keep everybody safe. We’re getting out in front of this and putting the necessary precautions in place.”
The scrimmage would have been the first of the preseason for the Flashes. Calhoun Falls is expected to be cleared to play in its season opener Sept. 25 against Southside Christian.
“Being out of the jamboree is a big blow for us because we need that time to evaluate our talent,” Watts said. “With us already dealing with limited numbers, that jamboree usually gives us a good feel of where we’re at.
“I have a lot of respect for coach Vic Lollis at Dixie, and the last thing I’d want to do is take a potentially sick player into that game and cause any issues. We’re just trying to look out for ourselves and everyone else involved.”
Calhoun Falls becomes the fourth team originally scheduled for the jamboree that won’t participate. The South Carolina High School League passed sanctions on Greenwood, Emerald and Ninety Six’s football teams last week, removing the schools from the WCTEL Classic.
Coaches at the three schools did not confirm on the record which violations the league cited.
The jamboree at Hite Stadium will include two new matchups: Woodmont vs. McCormick and Abbeville vs. Strom Thurmond. A new opponent is expected to be scheduled for Dixie.
Calhoun Falls won its first game in nearly three years after defeating Ware Shoals 14-13 to open the 2019 season. The win was the first since a 42-40 overtime victory in 2016 against Whitmire.
Roster numbers have improved for the Flashes this season. Calhoun Falls had about 14 players on its roster for much of last season, but the roster has about 18 players this year.