MEAD, Colo. (CBS4) – Some football players in northern Colorado say they were robbed of the chance to play for a Colorado high school championship thanks to a positive coronavirus case. The Mead Mavericks were forced to forfeit their upcoming playoff game after learning they were potentially exposed to COVID-19 in recent days.
CHSAA said the team must quarantine for a period of time, which forced them to forfeit the upcoming 3A playoff game against Pueblo South.
“We had the ability to go all the way this year,” said Brandon Brewington, a senior tight end for the Mavericks.
CHSAA said Mead couldn’t play in the upcoming playoff game in Pueblo because of their exposure to a positive COVID case during their previous week of competition and practice.
“In the last game, to be exposed to another student that potentially had it is just devastating,” Brewington said.
“This is a championship. It is a game. You don’t win a game by not playing,” said Laura Gavito, a parent of a student athlete.
Gavito, and other parents, contacted CHSAA to express their frustrations. Gavito felt CHSAA should postpone the game until quarantine was completed by Mead, and both teams could safely and fairly compete to move on.
However, in a written statement to concerned parents, CHSAA claimed they were unable to adjust the schedule and refused to reconsider giving the Mead team a chance to play.
“I was hoping there would be another method. Whether we all get tested before the game or whether they postpone it a week or on to the spring, so everybody gets a chance to go out there and compete,” Brewington said.
Brewington told CBS4’s Dillon Thomas some of his teammates were still sulking, knowing their season was over. Others were still optimistic that CHSAA would make the decision to let them make up the game at a later date.
“I was devastated over their devastation,” Gavito said.
Gavito said she didn’t understand why CHSAA was moving forward with playing football as the state inches closer to a complete shutdown due to coronavirus. Teams, which would have to cross county lines, would be forced to interact with dozens of other kids who may have also been exposed.
Gavito noted that Mead is in Weld County, which is one of counties still at a level orange rating. Counties they would have to travel through to get to Pueblo County for the game were at higher risk of exposure.
Gavito said CHSAA or Gov. Jared Polis should intervene and prioritize the health of students by postponing play until spring.
“We can’t even have Thanksgiving dinners with people outside of our families, why is playing football okay?” Gavito said. “We are asking for unity. We are asking for every team to consider this situation. If everybody is at high-risk, which we are, shut it down for right now.”
However, CHSAA said any game that cannot be played on its scheduled date cannot be rescheduled per rules previously agreed upon by teams.
CBS4 reached out to CHSAA for an interview, or comment, and received the following statement from Commisioner Rhonda Blanford-Green.
“The current variances allow for Season A football to continue and teams not impacted expect to have the experience they too entered into. Unless given a different direction by our state and health officials, the CHSAA will support and continue to administrate the play-off series and a culminating event. In the event that it is paused or cancelled, Season A would conclude and would not resume in Season C as communicated to our member administrators since the variance approval and start of the season.”