Vidalia High cancels first two football games after player tests positive for COVID-19

Published 8:56 am Friday, October 2, 2020

VIDALIA — The Vidalia High School Vikings canceled their first two games of the Louisiana High School Athletic Association football season on Thursday due to a player testing positive for COVID-19.

The Vikings were set to play their season-opener against West Ouachita High School on Friday. Vidalia’s game at Caldwell on Oct. 9 has also been canceled.

Michael Norris, Vikings head coach, was set to make his coaching debut on Friday against West Ouachita. Norris said the school conducted contract tracing and found the player was in contact with eight other players on the football team.

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“Three to four of the players were starters and there’s just no way we could compete against a Class 5A team and a Class 4A team,” Norris said. “It is a punch in the gut. The players have been working hard all summer long and they showed up to practices for nine to 10 weeks, not knowing if they were going to have a game. Then the day before the first game, this happens. There are no words that I can express about the way the players feel right now.

“We told the players at the beginning of the year that if they are going to learn something this year, then they were going to learn how to deal with adversity. I know the players will fight through this situation. This is a group of players that don’t flinch. Whenever there is a challenge, they rise to the occasion.”

Norris said Vidalia plans to still have practices and are going to follow the district protocols regarding the safety of other players.

Vidalia will resume their season on Oct. 16 at home against Rayville High School for homecoming and senior night.