SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — After a two-week hiatus, The Parkview High School football team returns to the field Friday night, Sept. 25, to practice.
The lights shine bright on Friday nights, but Parkview’s Varsity football team was sidelined for a couple of weeks due to COVID-19.
Two weeks ago, the team got word that one of their varsity players tested positive for the virus, causing the Vikings to cancel two games and sent nearly 40 players into quarantine.
Seniors Ty Townsend and Dameon Sanchez lost two chances to take the field this season. The team was supposed to play a game with Kickapoo and were scheduled to travel to Rolla, but the players were stuck in quarantine.
“Kickapoo, I have friends that I played with over there since we were in 5th and 6th grade, and it was kind of a bummer to miss that game, but you live and you move on,” Townsend says.
“It honestly hurt me a little bit. I was hoping to play Kickapoo and Rolla,” says Sanchez, the teams Middle Linebacker. “Kickapoo for sure. That’s the game I really wanted to play. Hopefully, they can get it back.”
Head Coach Ben Dougherty says the team didn’t have to take a forfeit for either of those games, but with their schedule essentially locked in, he doesn’t anticipate they’ll make up the game against their crosstown rivals.
“They’ve missed eight days of practice,” said Dougherty. “So today is their first day back. We’ve been staying in communication. They [the players] are staying in touch. I doubt I’ll go through anything like it in my coaching career again.”
Townsend and Sanchez say they tried to stay active at home during the quarantine, but they know there is work to be done.
“We did zoom calls to kind of condition, so we did interact as a team. Hopefully, we’re all still in shape. Lots of running to do,” Townsend says.
Coach Dougherty says returning to practice beats not being on the field at all.
“I think the team missed it more than they thought they would and I can admit we’ve probably missed them a little more than we anticipated as well,” Dougherty says. “I expect focus and a lot of energy because I think they’re ready to be back.”
Parkview takes on Glendale next week in their first game back.
Parkview isn’t the only team that has dealt with COVID-19 in 2020. Several other teams have had to cancel at least one game this season due to exposure to the virus.