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Plainwell cancels football game with Edwardsburg due to possible COVID-19 exposure

MLive - GrandRapids/Muskegon/Kalamazoo logo MLive - GrandRapids/Muskegon/Kalamazoo 9/29/2020 By Patrick Nothaft, mlive.com

PLAINWELL, MI - Plainwell Community Schools announced Tuesday the cancellation of this week’s varsity and sub-varsity football games against Edwardsburg due to concerns over possible exposure to the coronavirus.

“We are disappointed to announce that due to possible COVID-19 exposure we will not be participating in any football games this week,” read a message on the district’s website. “At the recommendation of the Allegan County Health Department and the safety of parents, students, and staff this is the best decision for all involved. We will announce future dates when we have more information from the Health Department.”

A request for comment from Plainwell athletic director Dave Price was not returned at the time of publication.

Plainwell is the second Southwest Michigan team to cancel a game due to a positive COVID-19 test or possible exposure.

Portage Central canceled its Week 1 contest against East Lansing after a Mustangs' coach tested positive for the coronavirus. The team took the field a week later against Battle Creek Lakeview without 12 players, who were forced to quarantine due to possible exposure to the virus.

RELATED: Shorthanded Portage Central football to play Week 2 after nixing opener due to COVID-19 test

Statewide, 22 teams couldn’t play in their scheduled games in Week 1, while 11 teams missed games in Week 2.

The Michigan High School Athletic Association said six to eight of the 11 teams missed for COVID-19 reasons, but it would not disclose which schools.

“We can’t release a specific school,” MHSAA spokesperson Geoff Kimmerly said. “It’s up to the schools if they want that to be public or not.”

RELATED: Number of Michigan high school football teams missing games declines amid coronavirus concerns

Plainwell’s cancellation means Edwardsburg is once again in the tough spot of trying to make a late change to its schedule, after the Eddies' original Week 2 opponent, Brazil Northview (IN), canceled to play an in-state team.

The Eddies added Jonesville to their Week 2 schedule and won 52-16. Edwardsburg’s junior varsity team found a game last week against Battle Creek Harper Creek, and its JV squad has already replaced Plainwell with St. Joseph, but there’s no guarantee the Eddies find a match for Friday at the varsity level.

“I’d imagine there will be one or two openings that pop up, but sometimes there are other issues with things like travel,” Edwardsburg athletic director Kevin Dean said. “We’re going to see if there’s a good fit out there, but if we can’t, we’ll have to take the week off and go from there.”

One reason the Eddies players, coaches and fans can relax a little bit about the late cancellation is that although the MHSAA requires team to complete four games to make the playoffs this year, forfeits count toward that total, and the team that canceled takes a loss if its opposition can’t fill the date.

“It was kind of a topsy-turvy type of thing, and it probably won’t be the last time,” Dean added about the late cancellation. “It’s just kind of crazy right now, and every day just gets crazier.”

More high school football coverage

Muskegon-area schools shuffle schedules after Grant suspends sports due to coronavirus

Kalamazoo-area prep football power rankings, standings heading into Week 3

Northwestern-bound RB Anthony Tyus sees Big Ten, SEC potential in younger brother

How to watch and stream Michigan high school sports this week on NFHS, MHSAA network

Vote for the Kalamazoo-area high school football Player of the Week from Week 2

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