Mt. Lebanon shuts down football workouts, must cancel season opener

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Monday, August 24, 2020 | 11:32 AM


A positive covid-19 test caused Mt. Lebanon to shut down football activities until next week, a delay that will force the team to cancel its preseason scrimmage and season opener.

The PIAA requires 10 practices before a scrimmage and 15 before the first game, thresholds Mt. Lebanon can’t reach in time, athletic director John Grogan said. The Blue Devils were scheduled to scrimmage Upper St. Clair on Sept. 4 and host Baldwin on Sept. 11.

The school’s administration announced Sunday that an athlete tested positive for covid-19. The individual hadn’t worked out with the team since Aug. 18. The test was administered Aug. 20, the school said.

Football workouts are shut down until Sept. 1.

“Everyone is doing their best to try to make this happen,” Grogan said. “But at the end of the day, there are certain things you can’t control. This kid didn’t get it from school. Our protocols are working here. That’s the frustrating part. Unfortunately this young man got it from a different source.”

Mt. Lebanon can scrimmage Sept. 11 or 12, if an opponent is available. It’s first game would be Sept. 18 against Canon-McMillan.

WPIAL football teams on Monday started heat acclimatization, a five-day period mandated by the PIAA before teams can start full-contact practices. The Blue Devils will need to hold their heat acclimatization next week.

Heat acclimation workouts count toward the required number of practices.

When a school has a covid-19 case, administrators contact the state or county health department for guidance on quarantine and contact tracing. In Mt. Lebanon’s situation, contact tracing wasn’t an option.

“Unfortunately in our particular case, we were unable to determine that because the kids had done some group activities,” Grogan said.

He predicted contract tracing would become more difficult for teams as they transition to traditional practices.

“It’s one thing to separate kids if you’re just doing conditioning in the summer,” Grogan said. “But if we’re going to this, we’ve actually got to get prepared to play. That’s going to make it even harder.”

Chris Harlan is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Chris by email at charlan@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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