Football activities shut down at Sun Valley due to positive COVID-19 test

For the second straight week Sun Valley has had a football game canceled because of a positive test for COVID-19.

This time, though, the positive test involved one player in the Sun Valley program, head coach Greg “Bubba” Bernhardt confirmed Friday afternoon. Citing privacy reasons, Bernhardt would not say if the player was a member of the varsity or JV team.

The school immediately took steps to cancel its scheduled Ches-Mont League game against Kennett, which was to be played at Sun Valley.

“We found out about 2:30 this afternoon,” Bernhardt said.

Sun Valley’s game with Oxford last week was canceled because a player on Oxford had a “potential exposure” to the coronavirus. Sun Valley was able to pick up a game against Ephrata last Saturday The Vanguards (0-2) lost that game, 23-6.

“Every week you’re crossing your fingers and your toes,” Bernhardt said.

Since the positive test involved Sun Valley, the Vanguards had to cancel the game with Kennett and next week’s contest with West Chester Henderson because the team is mandated to shut down all football operations for 14 days, according to guidelines set up by the Chester County Department of Health. The earliest the Vanguards can resume practice is Nov. 2, according to a letter sent by the school to the football community.

Kennett picked up a game with Exeter High School near Reading and will host the Blue Hawks at 6 p.m. Saturday according to a tweet by the Reading Eagle newspaper.

“We’ve taken all the precautions, wearing masks and everything, but it’s so tough,” Bernhardt said. “We’re not doctors. We’re not scientists. We take our cues from people above us. Even if you do everything right, every single day, which we do, a kid goes home who lives with an aunt or an uncle or mom and dad, whoever, and dad was at work and somebody there had it. It’s just the whole tracing of everything.

“We send stuff out every single morning and the kids have to answer questions. If one of those questions comes back awry, they have to stay away until it gets squared away. All the precautions are being taken. It just stinks because sometimes it’s out of your hands.”

Friday’s game was supposed to be Sun Valley’s senior night and next week’s contest is the last on the schedule. The PIAA has allowed teams that do not qualify or choose not to partake in the playoffs to play games until the weekend of Nov. 27-28. Bernhardt said a decision has not been made if the Vanguards will pick up any future games.

“I’m sure we will,” Bernhardt said. “I’m not 100 percent sure of that because it is so new. I just spoke with my AD and principal and I’m sure we’ll get together next week, gather more information and see where we’re at. If that’s a possibility we’re going to try to do it.

“You have to see where everybody else is; who’s available and is willing to play. There are so many variables. It’s not like before, where you could go out and grab a couple of games. It’s just different now. So we’re in that wait and see pattern. It just stinks. We have 16 seniors. You feel for them. You want to do something to get (senior night) back.”

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