(FOX40.COM) — Esparto High School in rural Yolo County has canceled its football game on Friday due to not having enough players from either injury or COVID-19, Esparto Unified School District told FOX40.com.
The Esparto Spartans’ road game against the Amador Buffaloes won’t happen after seven students were out due to an injury and six more players tested positive for COVID-19.
The Spartans, who don’t have a junior varsity team, have 22 students on its varsity squad, leaving them without 13 players after the reported injuries and illnesses.
The decision to cancel the game came down to the number of students recovering from injuries and district officials anticipating more students to test positive for the virus or others being sick with non-COVID illnesses before Friday.
The possibility of students unintentionally spreading the virus to the other team was also a factor in the decision.
“The health and safety of all students and staff have been and always will be of paramount importance to the Board and myself,” EUSD superintendent Christina Goennier said in an email to FOX40.com. “Ensuring the well-being of students is not only a moral obligation but also a legal and ethical responsibility.”
“Esparto Unified prioritizes the health and safety of students and coaches to create a conductive and nurturing educational and athletic experience that supports the holistic development of students and staff,” Goennier continued.
Yolo County health officer Dr. Aimee Sisson appreciates the district’s action to prevent the spread, as the county has seen a rise in COVID-19 cases over the last several weeks including a recent spike in cases in Esparto.
According to the health department, Yolo County’s wastewater has COVID levels at a medium, but were recently in the high spectrum.
“Our role in the health department is to support our schools in being able to stay open for that in-person instruction,” Sisson said. “We provide support certain tips on what to do when there are cases provide testing resources. But really our goal for this school year is to keep kids in school in person, but also to do so safely.
“As we look at our wastewater has kind of leveled off over the last week or so but we are currently in medium or that middle third of of wastewater compared to national levels over the last year,” Sisson told FOX40.com.
A makeup date is unknown, as it will depend if both teams are available on a later date and if the two schools want to make it up.
The game was a non-league contest for both teams.
Esparto is 0-3 to start the season and its next game is Sept. 15 at home against Winters High School (1-1).
Amador has a 2-1 record and is scheduled to host Mesa Verde High School (2-0) on Sept. 15.