For the third week in a row, Shelbyville High School will not play a varsity football game.
The Golden Bears’ Hoosier Heritage Conference contest Friday at Class 4A, No. 14 Greenfield-Central (2-2) has been canceled. Shelbyville’s “C” football game on Monday with Greenfield-Central also has been canceled.
COVID-19 positive cases and contact tracing within the school has stripped the football team’s roster of available athletes. Head coach Brian Glesing said 14 players, sophomores through seniors, were at the Golden Bears’ last practice Thursday. While he was sitting in his office Friday afternoon preparing to head out for the weekend, he got a text from another football player stating that he had received a contact tracing letter.
With more than half of the varsity players either having COVID-19, in contact tracing protocols or injured, the decision was made to cancel Friday’s game.
If the situation improves throughout this week, Shelbyville plans to return to McKeand Stadium on Sept. 24 against Yorktown. Homecoming festivities are to take place that night.
Shelbyville won its first football game in three years on Aug. 27 to even its record at 1-1. That led to an energetic Saturday morning after the win and a solid week of practice in preparation for the Delta game on Sept. 3.
“It’s tough. It’s not fair to anybody,” said Glesing Friday. “It’s not fair to our kids. It’s not fair to us. It’s not fair to our students. It’s not fair to the other teams were playing. I feel for them as well.”
Glesing believes the Golden Bears are handling the situation as best as they can.
“Our kids have been pretty resilient,” he said. “I’ve laid it out to them that it is out of our control. I feel sorry for our seniors. For the first time in their football careers they have some momentum, people pumping them up in school a little bit, and they got put on pause.”