Sun Valley loses yet another game due to COVID exposure

For the third time this season Sun Valley had to cancel a football game because of COVID-19.

The Vanguards were to host Avon Grove Friday night but had to cancel when “both schools were notified late (Friday) afternoon one of our opponents last week had a player, who played the whole game, test positive,” Sun Valley athletic director Pat Rafferty said in an email to the Daily Times. “That player became symptomatic the day after the game. Because of that, the CCHD (Chester County Health Department) advised us to cancel the game since all of those players who played are considered close contacts.”

Rafferty added, “Luckily, neither team has players or coaches with COVID.”

The Vanguards dropped a 34-14 decision to Oxford last Friday night but it was not clear if the infected player was from Oxford. Rafferty did not respond to a follow-up email asking that question.

Sun Valley’s scheduled game with Oxford on Oct. 17 was canceled when an Oxford player had a “potential exposure” to the coronavirus. The Vanguards were able to pick up a game with Ephrata and dropped a 23-6 decision to the Mountaineers.

The Vanguards were set to play Kennett on Oct. 23 but that game was canceled when a Sun Valley player tested positive. That shut the Vanguards down for two weeks under CCHD guidelines and canceled a game against West Chester Henderson on Oct. 30.

“Every week you’re crossing your fingers and your toes,” Sun Valley coach Greg ‘Bubba’ Bernhardt said after the Kennett game was canceled. Bernhardt did not respond to a voicemail and text message Friday.

Sun Valley was able to resume practice on Nov. 2 and rescheduled the game with the Hornets for Nov. 6.

More and more games are being canceled as COVID cases rise across the state and nationally. Three PIAA playoff games were banged because of the virus.

In PIAA Class 6A, McDowell advanced to the semifinals when its game with Central Catholic in Pittsburgh was canceled because of positive cases at Central Catholic. The positive tests did not involve players from the team, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Wyoming Valley West had to forfeit its Class 5A quarterfinal with Cathedral Prep due to coronavirus concerns. The Wyoming Valley West school district reported six adult cases and one student case. Warwick forfeited its Class 5A quarterfinal with Governor Mifflin because of multiple cases in the school district. Cathedral Prep and Governor Mifflin advance to the semifinals. Cathedral Prep will play the winner of the District 1 championship between West Chester Rustin and Upper Dublin.

A total of 15 college games have been canceled this weekend because of the virus.

“Just a brutal year,” Rafferty wrote.

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