American Football Ball on Grass

The Chaparral High varsity football team has been told to quarantine for at least 14 days after a player tested positive for COVID-19. 

The positive test also prompted the isolation of Chaparral’s junior varsity football program, according to Scottsdale Unified. 

Both varsity and junior varsity contests have been canceled the next two weeks. Chaparral’s freshman team will continue with its season. 

Chaparral’s varsity team was scheduled to play Saguaro Friday and Sandra Day O’Connor Oct. 9. 

“We feel so badly for the affected students that they will not be able to partake in their regular activities during this isolation period,” said district Superintendent Dr. Scott A. Menzel. 

“However, this does serve as a sharp reminder that in order to keep our schools and extracurricular activities open, we must have the strong cooperation from all families, students and staff to monitor their health, recognize and report symptoms, and stay at home when sick or when a family member is sick.”

According to the district, the player was last at practice Sept. 25, just one day after the varsity team scrimmaged against Dobson High. 

SUSD said in its statement Chaparral is working with county health officials to conduct contact tracing “to help identify any others who may have been exposed to the virus through close contact with the student athlete.”

“‘Close contact’ is defined by public health officials as having been within 6 feet for longer than 10 minutes,” the release added. 

The Chaparral team's quarantine came just a day after Cactus Shadows’ varsity program was forced to do the same after a positive test. The Falcons’ game against Combs has been canceled. 

Arete Prep in Gilbert, a 2A Conference school, also had its first game of the season canceled after the team was forced into isolation two weeks ago. 

“We are obviously very disappointed,” Saguaro head coach Jason Mohns said, “but it’s out of our control. So, we’ll stay focused and start working on Brophy.”

Chaparral senior offensive lineman Mason Osborn took to Twitter to express his disbelief with the news of the Firebirds’ season opener being canceled. 

“Can’t believe this,” he said, linking to a highlight tape from the team’s scrimmage against Dobson. 

Aaron Minor, the president of the Chaparral Firebird Football Foundation, whose son, Max, is a senior captain for Chaparral, questioned the reason for cancellation. 

“I have limited information about why the Scottsdale Unified School District Athletic Department has made the decision to cancel varsity and JV football operations after a positive and isolated COVID-19 case,” Minor wrote SUSD officials. “It is clearly written by SUSD and AIA that a single incident does not meet the criteria for suspension of activities.”

AIA guidelines state activities should be suspended if three or more players on one team of 25 test positive. 

“Why has SUSD made the determination to not follow their own posted guidelines and suspend football operations?” Minor asked. “This decision is reckless, harmful, and inconsistent with publications and practices by multiple school districts in the Phoenix Metro area, most importantly SUSD.”