UPDATED: 10:38 a.m.
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Fourth-ranked Sioux Falls Lincoln was slated to host Aberdeen Central on Saturday at Howard Wood Field, but that won’t happen.
Saturday’s contest has been canceled between the two teams, according to both schools.
“The game is not going to happen this season,” Aberdeen Central Athletic Director Gene Brownell said Thursday morning. “The suggestion is to play just one game in a seven-day period and we can’t do that with our schedule. If we were in a lower class that had an off week, then we would try to figure something out.”
Sioux Falls Lincoln’s Athletic Director, Joey Struwe, announced the cancellation on Twitter.
Brownell confirmed to KELOLAND News that the game has been canceled due to the COVID-19 virus and the close contacts on the team.
“We don’t have a lot of cases; we just have a lot of close contacts on our team,” Brownell said. “I talked with our superintendent and was told that of our 4,200 kids, we only have four or five active cases, which is good.”
The school constantly reminds the kids of the importance to protect themselves and others.
“We tell our kids, all the time, to wear their mask, wash their hands and social distance where possible,” Brownell said. “If we get a case inside of our team bubbles, then that’s when we see things pop up or events canceled.”
The team will take Thursday and Friday off and then return to practice on Monday.
The school has been able to distance their teams and practices, which means that only the varsity and junior varsity football teams will have to miss practice or games.
“We have never used the east locker room before, but this year, we are using the east locker room for our freshman football team,” Brownell said. “That way if we get cases on the varsity or junior varsity team, then our freshman could still play.”
Aberdeen Central was looking to snap a two game losing skid on Saturday, while Lincoln was looking to win their third straight contest.
“We feel bad and I’ve apologized to the Lincoln AD Joey Struwe, even though this is something that we can’t control,” Brownell said. “It is sad and we are disappointed to have this happen.”
This isn’t the only game to be canceled in class 11 ‘AAA’ this week.
Watertown was supposed to host Brandon Valley on Friday, September 24, but that game was canceled due to COVID-19 concerns at Watertown.
Saturday’s game was supposed to be livestreamed on KELOLAND.com as the Game of the Week, but due to the cancellation, there will be a different game.
Florence/Henry will travel to Watertown to play Great Plains Lutheran and you can watch that game starting at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday.