Andover Central football coach remains optimistic despite positive COVID-19 case canceling game

Coronavirus in Kansas

ANDOVER, Kan. (KSNW) – The Friday night lights were shut off for two schools, and it comes after an Andover Central player tested positive for COVID-19. While they won’t be playing this week, the plan to cancel is to make sure they can play again. 

While having to sit out of a matchup isn’t easy, Andover Central High School’s football coach said his players’ health and the opposing team’s health is his first priority. 

Coach Derek Tuttle said he feels like his team has taken the right precautions.

“We had a summer camp for a week and then three weeks of preseason and all of that without any sophomore through senior tested positive,” said Andover Central High School Football Coach Derek Tuttle.

Some plays go beyond the coaches X’s and O’s.

“We can do everything right here but they have to do the right things off the field,” said Tuttle.

Andover Central High School isn’t the first football team to have to cancel a game.

Last week, Larned Senior High School had to do the same. 

Health Director Adrienne Byrne said she’s glad teams are taking the right steps but said more needs to be done from both players and fans. 

“It’s important to look at how we can minimize how we can reduce the level of risk, and not just for the players, let alone the people in the stands,” said Sedgwick County Health Director. “Grab a chair or stand to try and prevent the spread.”

Byrne said fans that are allowed to attend games need to social distance to avoid a surge in cases.

For the Jaguars, the team could be back on the field Monday for the practice or have to wait two weeks, depending on what the health department suggests. 

Coach Tuttle said he hopes this will help teach more coaches, players, and fans to take a closer look at their coronavirus precautions. 

“We’re all kind of in this together and you know creating an atmosphere of negativity is certainly not going to help,” said Tuttle.

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