BDS officials cancel football game after likely COVID-19 exposure
PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG) - Call it a very disappointing day for the football players and coaches at both Arnold and Mosley Thursday.
Just hours before those two rivals were set to play each other at Tommy Oliver Stadium, the game was canceled because of some sort of COVID issue surrounding Arnold’s football program.
Bay District School officials, in a release sent out by email Thursday afternoon, say out of an abundance of caution and with the guidance from the local and state Department of Health officials, the game has been canceled. Officials say players involved and their parents were being contacted Thursday. Any players with questions are encouraged to reach out to their coaches or principal.
“We recognize that this decision will be upsetting to many who were looking forward to this event but Bay District Schools is 100 percent committed to the safety and security of our students and staff and we are always going to follow the guidance of health experts when it comes to Covid-19,” the press release said.
Sports Director Scott Rossman spoke with the head coaches of both teams, after they had told their players the bad news.
Arnold head coach Shawn Campbell telling us this was a very emotional day for the Marlins. He said there were some tears during the meeting at which the players were informed of the cancellation. Coach Campbell saying “We’ve been dodging COVID all season long, but to have to deal with this just hours before the game with Mosley, a game that means so much to the players is heartbreaking.” Coach Campbell going on to say he told his kids they simply have to add this to the long list of adversities they’ve had to deal with the last several months, and they “must try to find the good in all, and ignore the bad.”
As for Mosley head coach Jeremy Brown, he too said it was an emotional day for him and his players. He says this is a game the players circle on the schedule from the beginning of the season, and to be told hours before kickoff that it won’t be played was a real blow. Coach Brown echoing coach Campbell’s comments saying “This is something the guys have to deal with and learn from.” Brown adding “For the seniors, this may have been the last chance to play on the home field at Tommy Oliver, and that’s tough to deal with, having the game taken away." For Brown and the Dolphins, they’ll move on and set their sights on their playoff opener next week at St. Augustine.
The Marlins, if they are able to play next week, will travel to Baker County for their playoff opener.
If you bought tickets to the game and need a refund, school district officials say to reach out to the school’s athletic director next week.
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