Banks at Edgewood High School Football

Edgewood’s Joseph Benton (54) and Caleb Justiss (52) lead the Wildcats onto the field.

After suffering its first loss of the season Friday to Macon-East, Edgewood was hoping to get back on the field as quickly as possible to get back on the winning track. However, that will not be possible for another two weeks as the Wildcats have canceled this week’s game at Pike Liberal Arts after a player tested positive for COVID-19 over the weekend.

“The (Alabama Department of Public Health) toolkit is pretty clear about this,” Edgewood head of school Jay Adams said. “ADPH calls for anyone within 6 feet of the kid for 15 minutes or more within 48 hours of the test being positive should self-quarantine to prevent that possible spread of the virus.”

Edgewood had just one player test positive for the virus but due to those guidelines, 14 total football players will go into quarantine for two weeks and the Wildcats did not feel like they would have enough players left over to compete against Pike Liberal. The biggest impact was felt on the offensive and defensive lines and coach Chad Michael said the quarantine would have left the Wildcats without a varsity player on either side of the line.

Edgewood will have to forfeit the game and will drop to 3-2 on the season but they do not have to pay a fine as in years past. The AISA is not requiring fines to be paid for forfeiting games due to COVID-19.

The Wildcats already have a bye week scheduled for next week which means only one game will have to be forfeited before the players are allowed to return to campus and practice.

Michael said there will still be some work the team can do with its limited players but it’s just as important for the quarantined players to get their work in as well.

“The guys who aren’t in campus, we have harped on them that they have to stay in shape,” Michael said. “It’s going to be a major challenge coming back after not having any competition for two weeks.”

Despite not getting to play this week, Edgewood is trying to stay positive and is hoping to get the most out of an extended bye week. The Wildcats were hoping to get a shot at Pike Liberal, which ranks in the top five in AISA, but the team can now use this time to get some much needed rest before the back half of region play.

“Pike is very talented and a very physical team,” Michael said. “It would gave been a great chance to see how we compete… We have a couple of guys that would not have played this week anyway. It’s nice to have a break to have these guys healed up a little bit.”

The Wildcats will return to play with a trip to Lakeside on Oct. 2 before resuming region play in consecutive weeks against currently unbeaten Chambers and Springwood. Edgewood needs just one more win in region play to clinch a playoff spot.

“We’re in a situation where we have four games under our belts,” Michael said. “I’ve started to know the players a little better and we have a chance to move the guys around and reevaluate some things. We want to make sure we have everyone in the right place.”

Caleb Turrentine is a sports writer for Tallapoosa Publishers Inc.