Derry calls off next week’s football game with Burrell after more positive covid tests

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Friday, October 16, 2020 | 4:54 PM


Derry postponed next week’s football game at Burrell over growing covid-19 concerns.

The Interstate Conference game will tentatively be played Oct. 30 if the teams do not qualify for the WPIAL Class 3A playoffs.

The Trojans had already canceled Friday night’s home game against East Allegheny after Derry closed down because five school employees tested positive for the coronavirus.

With additional positive cases showing up, a five-day closure will be extended to 14 days with virtual learning taking place until Oct. 23.

All Derry athletic practices and games will be shut down until Oct. 25.

“While as a district we understand the importance of athletics on a students’ social, emotional, and physical development, our primary objective is the return of our student body to a hybrid or full in-person learning environment,” Derry athletic director Brett Miller said in a statement to his coaches. “Allowing athletics to continue during a school district closure designed to reduce the number of positive covid-19 cases is counterproductive to that objective.”

Derry football coach Vince Skillings said he has no problem with the suspension of football activities. But a stoppage won’t do any team favors, especially when it comes to staying in football shape.

“Obviously, we are concerned for the health and safety of the players and coaches, as well as their classmates,” Skillings said. “From a coach’s perspective, it’s frustrating because the staff has put in a tremendous number of hours analyzing film and preparing game plans and practice schedules for opponents we may not play.

“We’re concerned about players’ conditioning. Two weeks without practicing … wow.”

Burrell coach Shawn Liotta sent out a tweet seeking an opponent for next Friday.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at bbeckner@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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